To the Editor:
Before April 4, I had anticipated that Southern Illinois University would hold some sort of event commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and I was disappointed not to see anything listed in any of the newspaper articles or public calendars.
Imagine my surprise, therefore, to pick up Thursday’s Southern Illinoisan to find that there was, in fact, an event commemorating the anniversary, and that the talk was given by none other than Father Joseph Brown, the recent winner of the Spirit of Martin Luther King award. The article said attendance at his speech was sparse -- small wonder, when it appears that little effort was made to publicize it.
I work on campus and was particularly interested in attending this talk, yet I was unable to find out about it until after it happened. I feel that the failure to better promote an event recognizing something of such great historical significance was a grave disservice to the community.
The assassination of Dr. King has been listed as one of the ten most important events of the 20th Century, right up there with the moon landing and the attack on Pearl Harbor. I for one believe that a thousand years from now, when nobody remembers who Richard Nixon or Lyndon Johnson or even Donald Trump were, people will continue to be inspired and motivated by the words of Dr. King.
We have missed a great opportunity.
Gary K. Shepherd