DUBLIN — Dr. Martin Luther King Junior gave his first speech in Dublin at the age of 15 in 1944, and a local Dublin woman met him years later while she was in college. We spoke to Julie Driger, who said Dr. King still inspires her today to try and help people.
Driger's voice at the Martin Luther King Jr. monument in Dublin is there permanently through a voice box. The reason Driger's voice is there is because she was part of the civil rights movement in 1964.
"My responsibility was to get out the flyers and tell everybody when we were going to be meeting at the churches," Driger said.
Driger grew up in Saint Augustine, Florida, and as part of gathering blacks to protest, King rallied for support in local churches.
"He was talking about the civil rights movement, giving one of his news speeches on what we were trying to do in Saint Augustine," Driger said.
With King leading the way, Driger began marching across downtown Saint Augustine disrupting the tourism industry to fight for equality.
"Every time we marched, the line was attacked, every time either in the front or in the back, so some persons did get hurt during that crucial time," Driger said.
Driger said their marches paid off, but Doctor King would not make it back to see the progress made because he was shot and killed in Memphis, Tennessee. Driger said King would be proud of the monument in Dublin that honors his first speech and proud today King gave her a message to help mankind.
"It's not about race, it's not about color, it's about human being, whatever color you are," Drigger said.
Now the city of Dublin is expanding the current monument park and will be holding a ceremony on April 15.