Dexter Church Holds Early Memorial Service

A simple service for a remarkable lady. "It's like someone pulled the air out of you," says Maurice Hart.

Hart and his wife Eleanor are from Detroit. They just happened to be in Montgomery when they heard the news. Mrs. Hart says, "I saw a picture of Rosa Parks with 1913 to 2005 and said 'Oh my god!'"

The couple feels a connection with Mrs. Parks. Their son who is an artist created a portrait of her. "He did it on a sweatshirt that is in a museum. Rosa Parks herself approved the picture and signed it,"says Mrs. Hart.

Both met the civil rights legend . Mr. Hart recalls the first time He met Mrs. Parks. "I said, you have a good day and she said you too, dear."

"We wanted to show our respect to Rosa by being (at the memorial service,)" says Mrs. Hart.

The Reverend Michael Thurman says it is only fitting that the service is held at Dexter Avenue King Memorial because, he says, without Rosa Parks we would not know the name Dr. Martin Luther King. "I think Rosa Parks was a forerunner to Dr. King," says the Rev. Thurman.

Mr. Hart adds, "You think icons go on forever. They can't leave, we need them."

The Montgomery Improvement Association's city-wide memorial service will be held at the King Memorial Church Friday at 11:00 a.m. The doors will open at 10:30. If you can't be there, you can watch it live on WSFA 12 news.