Keeping the dream alive

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Ellen Falconer and Mark Jeffers wait inside Liberty, an inflatable eagle created by Evelyn Roth in Australia, for children to show up at the Martin Luther King Day gathering Monday afternoon at the St. Michael’s sanctuary.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Dr. Hari Khalsa, president of the Kauai Interfaith Roundtable, accepts a proclamation celebrating Martin Luther King Day from Mayor Derek Kawakami, Monday during the MLK Day gathering at the St. Michael’s sanctuary.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Charles Wolford, the athletic director at Island School, presents his piece next to the origami crane representing peace, Monday during the Martin Luther King Day gathering at the St. Michael’s sanctuary.

  • Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island

    Danny Hashimoto gets video and Dr. Hari Khalsa, president of the Kauai Interfaith Roundtable, and Steve Backinoff, organizer of the Martin Luther King Day gathering listen to Maranda and ensemble perform a specially-created musical piece by Shawna Carol, Monday during the Martin Luther King Day gathering at the St. Michael’s sanctuary.

LIHUE — Kauai residents gathered at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church on Monday afternoon to honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The event drew about 50 people from different walks of life who came together to sing, meditate, listen to speakers and celebrate Dr. King’s message of peace and equality.

“I’m a black person on Kauai, and it’s important to come to an event dedicated to Dr. King,” Barbara Mackey said, resting in the shade outside St. Michael’s church. For Mackey, the holiday carries a special significance.

On Aug. 28, 1963, 11-year-old Mackey sat on her uncle’s shoulders, looking out over a throng of people filling the National Mall in Washington, D.C., as Dr. King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech from the foot of the Lincoln Memorial.

Decades later and thousands of miles away, the lasting impression of Dr. King’s address still resonates with Mackey, who said the ideas Dr. King dedicated his life to are just as relevant today as they were during the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

She explained that Americans still have a long way to go in pursuit of racial equality but summed up her faith by referencing a centuries-old quote popularized by the slain civil rights leader — “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

Pastor Alfred Rogers talked about the significance of Dr. King and his message, while waiting his turn to deliver a sermon to the congregation about the value of hope and love.

“Character is what changes a country,” Rogers said, explaining that in this day and age, it doesn’t matter what race or ethnicity or background people come from. “You have to go and foster an attitude of caring about the community.”

“It’s important to understand that one man’s dream only turned into reality when it became a prayer,” Rogers said.

Lily Alt, 16, was with her group from the Kauai Performing Arts Center to sing “God Help the Outcasts,” from the Disney musical, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”

While waiting with friends outside the church, Alt was nervous about the upcoming performance but said, “I think that just shows I still care.”

Annaleah Atkinson, one of the organizers, is with Interfaith Roundtable, the organization that sponsored the celebration. Sitting near the front door of the church to welcome guests, Atkinson said this holiday is important because it emphasizes acceptance and inclusiveness.

“We feel like Martin Luther King Jr. and the Interfaith Roundtable have a lot in common — equality,” she said.

  1. harry oyama January 22, 2019 9:47 am Reply

    Religion only helps the clergy and institution because the rule the ignorant masses who support them with money and blind faith. God will not help the outcasts for such entity does not exist except in the minds of the delusional. That “god” did not prevent the premeditated murder of Dr. King.

    The only way the masses will prevail is to reject this insane religious beliefs and focus on the human potentials of truth when they will realize that the true power lies within every single human being whose non-religious spiritual potential is to become purely energy forms that some day will be able to create new universes which is not controlled by some delusional “god” or “angels”.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, send us an email.