My service for Martin Luther King Jr. Day was simple: to stand on a small landing in a winding, marble-lined stairwell, welcome attendees, and offer assistance to any who needed help with the steps.

The old State Theater, an aging yet still-elegant downtown Johnstown movie house, was hosting a Celebration of Dr. King’s life and legacy, featuring leaders of the black community, a Johnstown native son who now is a weekend meteorologist for a Pittsburgh TV station as well as a Baptist pastor, and ensembles of the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra.