Ascension celebrates Dr. King

Community leader Roy Quezaire, Jr. was the keynote speaker at the celebration in honor of Dr. Martin Luther, King, Jr., at the Christian Assembly Full Gospel Church Monday night.

“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear,” are the words Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said during his quest for human equality. On Monday at the Christian Assembly Full Gospel Church in Gonzales, Ascension Parish celebrated the life he lived and reflected on the dream he shared.

In a program that hosted several dignitaries from the state, parish and city government Ascension came together to honor Dr. King. With expressions from Ascension Sheriff Jeff Wiley, reflections from Ascension School Board member Julie Blouin, and the keynote address coming from community leader Roy J. Quezaire, Jr., it was a program filled with sincerity. But perhaps, above those the night was upstaged by the Christian Assembly Youth Choir who led the evening in singing.

Sheriff Wiley spoke briefly about the negative image law enforcement has gotten with in 2014 after the Ferguson, Missouri incident, and the New York City incident. However, he said Ascension’s law enforcement is still here to be trusted.

“Could that happen in Ascension? I pray it wouldn't but recognize it could,” Sheriff Wiley said, who’s entering his 20th year as Ascension Sheriff. “I just want to reflect on the blessings we've had with our relationship in the community. We can't just begin to have a relationship when things hit the fan. We have to do it early on and pray we are on track.”

The Sheriff’s Office takes pride in being a trustworthy neighbor in the community, and does its part to ensure the good relationship remains.

Blouin reflected on the dream and the American Dream the country was founded on: “that all men are created equally have the right at life liberty and pursuit of happiness.”

“Things have changed and things are different but yet my dream isn't fulfilled until justice flows like water,” Blouin said.

The time came for Quezaire to make his keynote speech and he opened up with an excerpt from Robert Frost, “The road is long, narrow and steep. The forest is dark and ever so deep, but we've got many miles to go before we sleep. Many, many miles to go before we sleep.”

Quezaire said that is one of his favorite sayings from Robert Frost, but added it is very appropriate for the evening of honoring Dr. King.

So he offered the audience to take a road trip with him, and he went on to share experience that he took along eastern seaboard in August all the way up to North Carolina.

Quezaire talked about the history of his ancestors running for freedom, and finally made his way back to Selma, Alabama.  He said he stopped there and rode over Edmund Pettus Bridge.

As Quezaire reflected, speaking a picture for the audience to envision, he said, “Race and gender have brought about barriers, but it comes into the realm of not understanding one another, and not communicating with one another.”

“Having preset attitudes and mindset that date back to centuries old, have no place in society today,” Quezaire said. “The overwhelming statistics for black on black crime have no place in our society today.”

And Quezaire said then, the dream is not finished.

“We must envision ourselves crossing the finish line as far as goals and objectives that we want to attain in life. See it through. Let’s cross the finish line and make it become reality,” Quezaire said.

“The journey is not over. It is not complete. We have to continue to render satisfaction and a quality of life to everyone because everyone deserves that,” Quezaire said. “We have to be the beacon of hope to the young people because if they can see it they can believe it, if they believe it they can achieve it.”