Kauai student is MLK peace poet winner

LIHUE — A Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School seventh grader has won the grand prize in the 15th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Peace Poetry Awards on Kauai.

Justice Funamura-Sasil received the honor during a ceremony Monday at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in Lihue. He was one of 53 student peace poems winners honored from eight Kauai schools with certificates from Gov. Neil Abercrombie.

The winners also received a Certificate of Achievement from Sen. Kouchi and a Dr. King commemorative prize poster furnished by the International Peace Poem Project.

The International Peace Poem Project has sponsored Dr. King poetry competitions in the four counties of the state for the past 14 years.

“We are delighted to receive contemporary poetry with such startling range and imagery emerge in our contest,” said Melinda Gohn, coordinator, International Peace Poem Project.

Funamura-Sasil’s poem was titled, “Press On.”

Emancipation for slaves

   was Lincoln’s triumph

 Then he was killed,

    but we still pressed on.

 

Civil Rights

     was Kennedy’s platform

 Then he was killed

      but we still pressed on.

Content of our character

   was Dr. King’s dream.

 Then he was killed

    but we still pressed on.

 

Peace in the Middle East

    was President Bush’s reason

 Then many were killed

     but still we pressed on.

Hope in my heart

    for peace in my life.

 I will not kill it.

        I will press on.

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