Town of Cicero officials and residents and dignitaries gathered Thursday Jan. 14, 2010 to honor the memory of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the Cicero Community Center, 2250 S. 49th Ave.
Guest speakers included Circuit Court Judge the Honorable Lawrence Terrell and Kasumba Kal Lawanga, the executive assistant to Cicero Town President Larry Dominick. The event was emceed by former legislator Frank Aguilar who now heads up Cicero's Community Affairs Department.
As about 100 people gathered in preparation for the ceremony, speeches from Dr. King were broadcast on the Community Center PA System. Among those offering support at the event were City Clerk Marylin Colpo, Township Supervisor Joe Virruso, and trustees Maria Punzo-Arias and Dennis Raleigh. Also attending were Cicero Police Chief Lori Lelis and Cicero Fire Marshal George Gregory.
"As we gather here this morning, we can listen to the echoes of a great man's voice who reminded us we are one people living in one world," Aguilar said as he introduced the event's speakers.
Judge Terrell noted that the Town of Cicero "never celebrated or acknowledged Dr. King's legacy until Larry Dominick was elected President of the Town of Cicero. President Dominick believes that Dr. King represented a noble fight for the civil rights of all Americans."
Terrell said that Dr. King would be amazed, had he lived, to see the country elect its first African American president, and cited the achievements of many African Americans in American life including Oprah,. Denzel Washington "and individuals working in law, as judges and astronauts."
Terrell added that King helped to "move America to a post-racial society where character means more than the color of your skin."
Lwanga, speaking on behalf of the entire town of Cicero, offered a compelling and moving speech: