Hundreds to Gather in the QCA in Honor of Dr. Martin Luther King - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Hundreds to Gather in the QCA in Honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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The city of Davenport is looking for a new way to pay tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The mayor will announce the creation of a citizen's task force to make a memorial in honor of King this morning at the United Neighbors annual MLK Day Celebration in Davenport.

The city says this could include a park, historical sites, a monument, a trail or a combination of all those.

Also happening at this year's United Neighbors event: a series of singers and speakers. The overall theme of this year's program is on the importance of education.

It's a topic United Neighbors Executive Director Dr. Ida Johnson said many forget was covered in Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech.

"There's a lot of dropouts," Dr. Johnson said. "We're trying to inform kids that education is the key. You know if you don't have an education now, you're just about doomed. You're lost."

And in the Illinois Quad Cities Monday morning, hundreds will come to the King Center in Rock Island for its 31st annual memorial service.

The center's executive director, Rev. Dwight Ford, said the service will be much like last year's with speakers and an awards ceremony. But this year's event will feature a speaker from the Cease Fire Initiative out of Chicago. The center says it brought in this speaker to stress the importance of living a non-violent life like Dr. King did in his 1964 Nobel Peace Prize speech.

"He uses a phrase unarmed truth and unconditional love," said Rev. Ford. "And our whole commitment as we launch this year's program and service initiatives will be centered around that theme."

Both United Neighbors and the King Center say they encourage people to use MLK Day as a day of service in honor of Dr. King -- doing anything from volunteering to checking on an elderly neighbor.

The United Neighbors celebration gets underway at 10 a.m. in Davenport and the King Center's ceremony starts at 10:30 a.m. in Rock Island.

Both events are free and open to the public.

You can find a full list of other MLK Day events in the QCA here.