WEST VALLEY CITY The life of Martin Luther King Jr. should be honored through service, community leaders said during a memorial service for the late civil rights leader Friday.
"Everybody can be great because anybody can serve," Bishop John C. Wester of the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake said, quoting King. "What a great way to honor Dr. King not by taking the day off but by making the 19th a day on."
Bishop Wester said King's sacrifice paved the way for Barack Obama's historic run. Obama, the first African-American president, will be inaugurated Tuesday, the day after the Martin Luther King holiday.
"Wednesday will follow, and so will hope," Bishop Wester said during the 2009 Drum Major Awards at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center.
Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., who will attend the inauguration, acknowledged these are "tough times" for the country financially and called on people to come together.
"We can really live the dream in a meaningful way ... by remembering the importance and power of community when times are tough," he said.
The state's Martin Luther King Jr. Commission honored five community leaders for having the "drum major instinct," King talked about during a 1968 sermon.
"We as people on the face of this earth ... we all owe somebody," said Frank Cordova, who was honored for his work as a Hispanic rights activist. "Each of us needs to serve."
Other award recipients were:
• Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon, who has helped establish the county's Office of Diversity Affairs during his two terms.
• Anela Kalaiwaa, a Washington County school bus driver who has transported students with disabilities for 25 years. A native of Hawaii, Kalaiwaa serves on the board of the Southern Utah Polynesian Association and has shared her culture in the community for a decade.
• Sarah McClellan, who has worked for the HIV/AIDS Project in Ogden since 1996. McClellan is a member of the NAACP, Marshall White Advisory Board, Senior Villa Housing Board and Project Success Coalition Advisory Board.
• Maung Maung, the chair of the Governor's Asian Advisory Council, who also serves as a Burmese community representative.