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Corpus Christi to observe MLK holiday for the first time

Posted at 9:33 PM, Jan 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-19 22:55:08-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The community is coming together to celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. this Monday.

Local pastor, Rev. Claude C. Axel was one of many who showed up at City Hall last week asking for the city to recognize MLK day of service as a municipal holiday.

Axel is a community activist who pastors at the Mount Pilgrim Baptist Church. He said he was shocked when he learned city employees did not get the day off work.

"You can be a thermometer and leave things as they are or you can be a thermostat and change things around you." Axel said in his public remarks Tuesday at City Hall.

City Council unanimously voted to make Monday a municipal holiday. That means city offices will be closed and most of the city's employees will be off work.

Something Axel believes happened because people from our community came together and voiced their concerns.

"We have to remember that the fight he did was not just a fight for blacks but for all citizens." Axel said. "We could not afford to just let that holiday go by and not give it to city employees."

"Truly we can overcome whatever struggle there is because united we stand and divided we fall."

Something that was evident in that meeting in that last week.

"There were people of all races, young and old." Axel said.

"I don't think it's just a day for me to be proud of but a day for all Americans to be proud of." Axel said. "His fight was for all people. his concern was for all citizens"

The new city ordinance declares the third Monday of each January "Martin Luther King Civil Rights Day of Service," a day set aside to give back to the community... actions that parallel the legacy of Dr. King.

"Dr. King was what I call a servant. He wasn't just a talker." Axel said. "He was a servant to mankind."

For a full list of events happening as a part of the day of service in the Coastal Bend click here.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a federal holiday celebrating the life and legacy of the civil rights leader. And now, it is being recognized by the City of Corpus Christi for the first time.