HIGHLAND FALLS – It was a little breezy with annoying chill, but marchers left Sacred Heart Church and proceeded to Memorial Park Monday, singing “We Shall Overcome” to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.
“It’s just a replica of the March on Selma,” said Town of Highlands Councilman Ty King. “Why march on anything? Because we want justice, we want freedom. And just now want to remind the children of the history behind all the things that we have and how did we get to this point right now.”
King helped organized the march, and he feels civil rights have improved for all Americans since MLK organized protests and boycotts to demand equality for every citizen.
“There’s always room for improvement, but it’s not like it used to be, right,” said King. “I am not worried about no dog jumping on me, I’m not worried the police bashing in my head. In-fact they helping me get down the street, so I think we’re in a good place. A much better place, a lot of work to do across the board, a lot of the dream that Martin Luther King realized.”
Ray Harvey, president of the NAACP chapter in Newburgh and Highland Falls, attended the march, and he said King’s legacy has brought change – even though his ideals were tested by our complacency on civil rights that Donald Trump and white supremacists exposed during last decade.
“Today is one of the most important days in our history because of what Martin Luther King and civil right advocates stood for. It’s equal rights for everybody and justice under this flag, this great country we call America,” said Harvey. “These last few years have been real trying times as everybody knows, but as long as we can get folks like this gather, come out and understand that we call bleed the same blood and want the same thing for everyone. We’ve made progress, but there’s more work to be done.”