Utahns honor Martin Luther King Jr. with memories, day of service

SALT LAKE CITY — Utahns and local leaders are honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by sharing their memories of his life's work and volunteering for service projects to help the community.

"I spent some time marching with Dr. King. I was there for the March on Washington with the 'I Have a Dream' speech," said Pastor France Davis of Salt Lake City's Calvary Baptist Church. "Our state, as well as our country, now respects and honors those who bring about positive change."

Davis urges others to honor Dr. King's legacy by encouraging local lawmakers and representatives to champion civil rights and equal rights.

Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski, Police Chief Mike Brown and others gave of their time at the Utah Food Bank for a Martin Luther King Jr. Day service event.

"Yes, this is a holiday, but Dr. King would want you doing service today. So, my family and I showed up this morning in partnership to really highlight that there are needs in this community every day and that we have a responsibility for one another and you need to own that responsibility," Biskupski said.

The volunteers, who were also joined by local police officers and firefighters, helped sort and package food for distribution, and also helped in delivering boxes of food to Utah Food Bank clients.

"It's nice to give back like [Dr. King] gave to us, so we could have diversity and equality," said Jayliyah Weir, a Highland High School student who volunteered at the food bank Monday.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is always observed on the third Monday in January, and this year the holiday falls on Dr. King's actual birthday: January 15.

The well-known civil rights activist was assassinated in 1968 at the age of 39.