Kids celebrate King
SARANAC LAKE — Around 50 locals, many kids, gathered at Riverside Park Monday to honor, remember and spread the message of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
You might not notice, with all the hand-painted signs on the corner of River and Main streets, that Temnit Muldowney had organized the rally in a matter of hours.
“Last night I was just remembering why we are off of school today and why today is being celebrated. I just wanted to do something,” said Muldowney, who teaches second grade at Petrova Elementary School. “I wanted to make sure that it wasn’t just another day that came and went. I wanted today to be a day that we stop and remember why it is that we have the day off.”
Muldowney said many of her former students and a bunch of her friends pulled together signs and warm clothes and came out to spread King’s message of “peace and love, not hate.” They had spent the morning making signs with paint, tape and quotes from King.
“We’re really getting good at this,” Sunita Halasz said.
Muldowney’s three children — Talia, Jack and Ella — were there, too.
Ella said she was there “to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and how he helped Black people.”
“Celebrating his birthday is important because he got us all together in a community to make everyone happy,” she said.
Gwen Haney, who was there with her mom Kat and sister Liesl, said she was there to “to remember Martin Luther King and celebrate his birthday.”
She had drawn a sign with a chocolate and strawberry cake with yellow frosting. Gwen thought maybe this was King’s favorite flavor of cake.
Carina Moore was with her sons Ziggy and Tahj, who had each made a sign that morning.
“I took the day off of work and said, ‘This is more important,'” Carina said.
“I don’t really know what to say but it’s Martin Luther King day,” Tahj said.
“He changed the way Black people were treated,” Ziggy said.
It was a cold day, but high school science teacher Chris Gosling said it was worth it to be out on the corner to remind people what the day is about. Gosling was there with his wife Lynn and kids Grant and Elias. They were holding signs he said were a “group effort” project.
“It’s not just a holiday. It’s not just a day off of work,” Chris said. “That’s nice and all, but we just have to remember that the struggle for justice is ongoing and there is still work to be done.”