Greg Davis, a fifth-grader at New York Elementary School, believes there's still a lot of work left to be done before the dream of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. is fulfilled.
After a presentation about King on Friday evening at the school, Greg said discrimination continues to be a problem in the United States. Greg said he wishes people of all races could "get together and not fight."
Greg was one of several students who participated in a school program at New York attended by Gov. Joan Finney. The program kicked off with a chili feed in the school's cafeteria and featured the New York School Dance Club and a play, "I Remember Martin Luther King Jr.," put on by students in the fifth and sixth grades.
IN HER remarks to the children, whom she described as "magnificent," Finney said, "I think it is certainly a tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. to see the turnout tonight."
About 300 people attended the program at the school, 936 N.Y.
King, a prominent figure in the U.S. civil rights movement, unselfishly served his nation and all mankind, Finney said. She said the black minister who was assassinated in 1968 "redefined social justice."
Calling on King's 1963 "I Have a Dream" speech, Finney said people should be judged by the content of their character, not by their race, color or creed.
"It's very fitting that we gather at a grade school" to commemorate King's contributions because "he believed in the value of education," Finney said, adding that children like New York's students will be the future leaders of the state.
"I'M SURE that all of you have dreams," the governor said, surrounded by children sitting on the floor in front of her.
The state's first woman governor, Finney told the children "you can be all that you want to be."
Finney said Martin Luther King Day, which is Monday, should be spent reaffirming King's dream that "all men and women are created equal."
"Let us honor his memory not just today but every day," Finney urged.
Damien Garrett, a fifth-grader, said he respected King because he "tried to make people so they wouldn't be prejudiced."
Damien said he wishes people could "just be friends."
Joshua Chappell, a sixth-grader, said he has respect for King because "he stood for the right things."