By Ron O’Clair
Tomorrow, Monday, February 29, Worcester will celebrate the 168th anniversary of its becoming a city. This event will be held at noon at City Hall.
There was originally going to be ice-skating on the Oval behind City Hall as part of the festivities, but the weather is too mild for that this year.
There will be refreshments served, and I am under the impression there will be birthday cake!
Worcester history is replete with examples of people who strived to ensure equality and justice for all equally under the law. We had even chiseled the words “Obedience to Law is Liberty” on the lintel of our historic monument to justice that was built to ensure that it was dispensed fairly and impartially at the Court House at Lincoln Square.
Many a patriot sacrificed all that they possessed – including their lives – to see that this would be their legacy to the world, a free and democratic society where a person could avail themselves of the freedom to better themselves regardless of the color of their skin, their background, nationality or heritage.
We held that promise for generations, since the time of the early settlers who fought to establish the colony of Quinsigamond during the King Phillips War that eventually ended up being first the Town of Worcester and then the City of Worcester 168 years ago this month.
I hope that you will join in the celebration and come to City Hall to celebrate the 168th Birthday of our city!
Later on the same day, there will be a Coalition against Bias and Hate meeting that stems from the Department of Justice Race Relations talks this summer.
It will be held at the Belmont AME Zion Church on Illinois Street from 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. That should be interesting and refreshments will also will be served.
I see this as an opportunity for the City of Worcester to show the rest of the country how to maintain civility during what can oftentimes be heated discussions about racial tensions. Many allege that there are cases of outright discrimination and bias based upon a person’s skin color, and for no other reason that prevents them from benefiting equally under the law.
This can be a golden opportunity to be heard. I urge those folks who have issues to bring them to the table. I suspect that this is actually going to be more of a presentation put on by the City of Worcester to inform the attendees of what the City of Worcester has done since the talks this summer in the way of addressing issues brought up from the talks. It will also be an opportunity for city leaders to showcase the City of Worcester’s plans to ensure equal treatment under the law for all citizens regardless of race, gender or sexual identity.
At any rate, it should be worth taking the time to attend.