Lafayette

Jan 21, 2013 9:30 PM by Chris Welty

Acadiana Reflects on Inauguration

The President's inauguration brought one Lafayette man to tears.

Mervin Harmon is a retired Tuskegee airman and was the first black man to serve on the Lafayette Parish Police Jury.

85-year-old Mervin Harmon has seen it all fom segregation to desegregation, the assassination of Doctor Martin Luther King and the election of our country's first black president.

"I didn't feel like I'd see in my lifetime a black president of this country," said Mervin Harmon.

Harmon is proud President Obama is starting his second term and didn't expect to see a black man hold such a high office twice.

In 1974, Harmon was elected to the Lafayette Parish government and served more than 14 years. He clearly remembers racial tension.

"We knew we were at the bottom of the totem pole and we knew we wouldn't get credit for everything we tried to do."

Harmon says the President's inauguration coinciding with Martin Luther King ceremonies is a historic time for our nation despite the racial divide still present today.

"It's divided by people who hold positions of authority that can make things come about much easier than they are."

Harmon hopes people will come together and bury the issues at hand, remaining respectful towards the commander in chief.

"There are a number of people today that refer to Barack Obama as Barack Obama, not President Obama. I've never heard that in my lifetime."

Chris Welty
cwelty@katctv.com

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