Kauaiians embrace ‘I Had a Dream’

Fifty years after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize for raising the consciousness of equality through nonviolence, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s message lived Monday at the Kukui Grove Center.

A few hundred people gathered for “A Celebration of Peace” on Martin Luther King Jr. Day with music and presentations, including one by Sharon West, a teacher.

“Everyone can be great,” she said, quoting King. “Anyone can serve … you only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”  

Marghee Maupin, Kalaheo, has instilled the ethics of equality in her daughter Olivia Geger, Island School seventh-grader. They attended Monday’s event together and remembered when Maupin’s father marched alongside Dr. King.

“It’s a day to be reminded that peace really starts with our own actions,” said Maupin. “One man can affect so many people with his heart and we can do the same.”

“I don’t think you should be judged by your skin color,” said Geger. “It’s unfair. That is the way you are born.”

The event was organized by the Interfaith Roundtable of Kauai.

“Peace is in the world and during our life and all the way to the last breath,” said Jeffrey Pears, bereavement care associate with Kauai Hospice.

With a collective breath, those attending Monday’s event stood to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in unison.

Edward Nobriga, Puhi, who was visiting the mall, summed up his thoughts with regard to King’s legacy.

 “I have a hope that all nations will get along together no matter what color the people are,” he said.

Those sentiments were echoed by Tyler Lumpap, a first-grader at King Kaumualii who recently learned about King’s influence in changing the laws regarding segregation.

“I love everybody,” he said.

• Lisa Ann Capozzi, features and education reporter, can be reached at 245-0452 or lcapozzi@thegardenisland.com.

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