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By Jeff Young —
1/19/09

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a holiday with many different
meanings.

For some, it’s a day of remembrance. For others,
it’s a day to give.

And that’s exactly what was happening today
outside the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library here in
Washington, D.C. Dr. King’s spirit of unconditional love and caring
seemed to permeate the air. Several hundred people shuffled through
long lines in the bitter cold to give canned goods and clothes to
those less fortunate.

But the good samaritan deeds did not
go unrewarded. One of the event’s sponsors Feeding America put on a
concert. Performers included Josh Groban and Herbie Hancock. There
were surprise appearances by actors Ben Affleck and David Arquette.

The air was electrified when the Mighty Marching Machine
suddenly swept into the concert area blaring trumpets and trombones
and beating on drums. The 80 member marching band is from the Paul
Laurence Dunbar Vocational Career Academy in Chicago. It is a public
school which was established in 1942 as a trade school for African
American students. Its mission is to prepare students for college and
work. It is 3 miles from the Obama Chicago home but is in the area of
the notorious Robert Taylor Housing Projects.

The students
performed for about only 5 minutes but their impact hung in the air
for a long time.

By the time the concert was over, many homeless
had new clothes and food to fill their stomachs. On the other side of
the poverty line many left the show knowing they had played a major
role in keeping Martin Luther King Jr.’s spirit alive.