Waynesboro, GA (WJBF)- Martin Luther King Jr Day parades all over the CSRA were cancelled this year due to COVID.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic forced leaders to cancel The Burke County Annual Martin Luther King Jr Day Parade, some members of the Burke County Sheriff’s office worked to make sure Dr. King’s message of peace and unity were remembered during these turbulent times.
“Different sides are..I guess individuals are picking different sides and then to sum it up, one side is upset at the other side. And Dr. King’s main thing was for all of us to get along, to come together and to work together and to live together amongst each other within our communities,” said Captain Randall Norman of the Burke County Sheriff’s Office.
People came out to Burke County from neighboring counties to participate in a Peace and Unity Parade sponsored by the Sheriff’s Office. Capitan Norman says he believes that if Dr. King were alive today, he would still be speaking out for unity and calling for peace.
“Up until Dr. King’s last days, he was constantly fighting for equal rights for all of us. He was constantly encouraging each and every one of us, regardless of race, regardless of creed, regardless of your orientations or demographics, whatever…it didn’t matter,” said Captain Norman. “Dr. King just wanted all of us to unify and come together and live together in a place where there’s nothing but peace.”
The parade included police officers from neighboring counties, the Burke County Masonic Lodge, fire trucks, tow trucks, the ATV Boys, and a group from Augusta’s Corvette club. Those involved say it’s important to remember Dr. King’s message, now more than ever.
“Unfortunately a lot of things that happened last week has affected a lot of things and what we want to do and want to be, we wanna stand out front and just kind of still support the community in our way. Yes, there’s bad things that happen in the world, but we just gotta work our way through that and try to make it right,” said Clint Gordon III, Sergeant at Arms for Augusta Pride Riders.
Captain Norman says the Burke County Sheriff’s Office is being vigilant to ensure peace locally in the wake of the attack on the Capitol.
“We’re constantly out doing community service, regardless of the demographics of the neighborhoods, of the citizens that live in those neighborhoods, and things of that nature. So, in the even that our citizens feel upset or they feel as though they can’t express themselves, at least we’re able to have some form of peaceful conversation.”
Captain Norman also says that while they are not concerned about violent outbreaks in Burke County, they are prepared in the event they should happen. Back to you.