HACKENSACK, NJ -- Wednesday, April 4 will be a somber day in the United States of America. It will mark the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s assassination. Mount Olive Baptist Church will commemorate the day by leading a march and worship service. In addition to honoring Dr. King's legacy, the event organizers see this as an opportunity to bring people together to address gun violence.
"Gun violence didn't just start. In light of that, we should remember why Martin Luther King went to Memphis, to support poor people, a living wage, and humanity, regardless of race," said Mount Olive Rev. George J. Jackson. Dr. King was in Memphis at the time of his assassination to support the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. Rev. Jackson noted that he has asked Hackensack's unionized sanitation workers to participate in tomorrow's march.
According to Rev. Jackson, the march and service was the idea of Youth Pastor Jonnel Green. Rev. Jackson spoke of the role that today's young people play in gun legislation, which he sees as in issue comparable to the civil rights movement of Dr. King's time.
"I think it is quite fitting that we remember the death of Dr. King (who was killed by a gunman) by coming together," said Rev. Jackson. "We are all products of our time. Martin Luther King seized his day, the active young men and women are seizing their time today, they are exercising their right to demonstrate and shape the future of America. Anything I can do in the background to support them and maintain the faith, I am all for that."
Marchers will gather at the high school, located at 135 1st St., at 4:45pm and depart for Mount Olive, which is located at 260 Central Ave. Light refreshments will be served at the church.
"It is an honor to march on the 50th Anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and honor his legacy," said Hackensack Deputy Mayor David Sims. "We have come a long way but there is still work to be done."
A worship service to commemorate Dr. King will begin at 7:00pm at Mount Olive, and will feature guest preacher Pastor Lawrence E. Aker, III of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Brooklyn and Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter, among other church deacons and community leaders.