MLK Day celebrated in Albany
January 15, 2018 07:04 PM
ALBANY, N.Y. - Hundreds gathered Monday to honor the life and teachings of Martin Luther King Jr. in New York's capital.
A free public program was held at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center, near the state Capitol, featuring a performance by Grammy and Tony Award winner Jennifer Holliday.
NewsChannel 13’s Benita Zahn introduced the keynote speaker Wintley Phipps, who touched on Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic “I had a dream” speech.
“He stepped up to the podium on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and delivered what would go down in history as one of the greatest appeals to the concerns of any nation,” said Phipps. “With eloquence, Dr. King challenged the nation to live out what he saw as God’s dream for America.”
After the program at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center, hundreds marched to Lincoln Park for a wreath laying at the MLK Statue.
"The movement and the civil rights movement involved marching and involved being out there and active, getting out of our comfort zone, being out here in the cold,” said Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan.
Many of the speakers hoped youth walked away inspired.
"Look for the work that Martin Luther King did to inspire the youth to help their community, help individuals, their neighbors to become a better individual,” said Albany Common Councilman Owusu Anane.
United States Congressman Paul Tonko was at the ceremony in Lincoln Park. He touched on President Donald Trump’s recent comments about other countries and said how now more than ever, people have to start listening to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s message of peace and harmony.
“When your hear this message that would divide and diminish and disrespect, it's important to come together and say this is unacceptable,” said Congressman Tonko. “Not with hate and anger toward the message but forcefulness. So we can get to that higher ground where Dr. King spoke."
For Mayor Sheehan, the message she wanted to get across at this year’s observance stems from that.
"I wanted to send the message all are welcome in Albany,” said Mayor Sheehan. “We have a diverse community that is richer because of that diversity and we want to insure we are a welcoming place."
Updated: January 15, 2018 07:04 PM
Created: January 15, 2018 11:26 AM
(Copyright 2018 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)