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Cartersville residents recall King influence
by Monica Burge
January 14, 2014 10:02 AM | 1751 views | 0 0 comments | 41 41 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Forrest and Bessie Green, of Cartersville will serve as grand marshals for the MLK Brotherhood March.
Forrest and Bessie Green, of Cartersville will serve as grand marshals for the MLK Brotherhood March.
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me to Cartersville to attend the funeral of a former employee, Forrest Green was able to meet him up close and personal.

“He actually helped him put on his hat and overcoat,” said daughter Mary Alice Johnson.

Johnson said her father always remembers that moment proudly and considered it a great honor to meet the Civil Rights pioneer.

Green, 95, is a life-long resident of Bartow County and is one of the few surviving World War II veterans in the country.

He and his wife Bessie Green will serve as grand marshals for the Brotherhood March Jan. 20 as part of the local events commemorating the King holiday.

Ms. Green said she and her husband are honored to take part in the march.

“It means that you are highly thought of and that’s always nice,” Ms. Green said.

Her husband served in the U.S. Navy and worked for the former First National Bank before retirement.

Both are actively involved in their church, Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church and the couple, who have been married for 32 years, have seen many changes over the years.

Ms. Green said she and her husband are fortunate to have seen firsthand the civil rights movement and the work of King and his contemporaries.

She said although there have been great strides, there is still work to be done.

“We’ve come a long way but we still have a long way to go,” Ms. Green said. “There’s so much violence. It’s destroying what [King] was working for.”

The annual King holiday events held locally begin Sunday with a candlelight service at Mount Zion at 6 p.m.

The Rev. Louis Tonsmeire is the keynote speaker.

The Youth Rally and program will begin Monday at 10 a.m. at St. Luke A.M.E. Church. Youth from various churches and in the community will participate in song, poetry, dance and skits.

The march is at 2 p.m. and includes the wreath laying ceremony at the Frank Moore Administration Building with Mayor Matt Santini and Commissioner Steve Taylor speaking.

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