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Eracism Rally to commemorate King

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The annual Eracism Rally at the downtown Main Street courthouse is meant to commemorate Martin Luther King and unify residents, organizers say. (Submitted Photo)

An opportunity to remember Martin Luther King Jr.’s work for equal rights comes Monday on the federal holiday in his honor.

While public schools and city government offices are closed, some in Roswell will be gathering at the Eracism Rally, an annual event held for the past nine years that drew a crowd of more than a hundred in 2017.

The hour-long rally will occur at the Chaves County Courthouse on North Main Street beginning at noon.

“We don’t want the meaning of why we celebrate this man to be lost,” said Pastor Shawn Kelly on a local radio show, “and we don’t want this city to be divided.”

The event is coordinated by Church on the Move and other local organizations and is schedule to include talks by pastors, including Church on the Move’s Troy Smothermon, as well as by local officials. Those include Mayor Dennis Kintigh, Roswell Police Chief Phil Smith and Roswell Fire Department Chief Devin Graham. A former Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell dean is also one of the scheduled speakers.

Free hamburgers and hotdogs will be provided for those attending.

Neighboring communities in Ruidoso, Clovis and elsewhere are holding community service events and walks. More information on MLK Day community service projects throughout the state is on allforgood.org.