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MLK’s life and legacy are remembered with ceremony in Albany

 "His principles were grounded in the power of love. And he didn't just speak these words. He lived them. He walked them." ~ NY Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado
Dave Lucas
/
WAMC
"His principles were grounded in the power of love. And he didn't just speak these words. He lived them. He walked them." ~ NY Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado

Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life and legacy were celebrated with a wreath-laying in Albany Monday.

Mayor Kathy Sheehan led the annual community march from the Empire State Plaza Concourse to the Dr. King Monument in Lincoln Park.

"I want to say today that we know that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr's legacy has left us with all that we need to know: to be good to one another, to be just and to do the right thing," said Sheehan. "And while we work really hard in the city of Albany to be good to one another, and I think we have the kindest people in the country, we know that we have a long way to go to do the right thing. And to be just."

Sheehan was joined by Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado, who said King’s approach resonates today.

"His principles were grounded in the power of love," Delgado said. "And he didn't just speak these words. He lived them. He walked them. He stood face to face, heart to heart, eye to eye with hate right in front of him. He was attacked. He was spat upon. And he stood there with grace and humility, dignity, and nothing but love in his heart. There are stories of people running up to him, a woman in Chicago, filled with hate and rage. 'Get out of here!' she spit in his face, he stopped out and looked at it. He said 'you're too beautiful to be this way,' and kept marching. She ran him down. She ran him down. Stopped him 10, 15 minutes later and said 'I'm sorry. I don't know what came over me. I don't know what came over me.' Love came over her. Love can do all things."

Delgado grew up in Schenectady.

“You know, as a child of the Capital District, having marched in many marches when I was growing up, observing them, okay, it's an honor to be able to come back as lieutenant governor, and remember his legacy and the power of his legacy and talk about the power of love and how important it is right now," said Delgado. "Particularly these days where we're seeing a lot of hate and divisiveness, I thought was important to lend my voice to elevating his message and his work.”

Dr. King would have been 94 years old.

Bishop Avery Comithier is with Elijah Missionary Church in the South End:

"I think the significance is to remember the dream," Comithier said. "Not only remember the dream, but to be about the dream and make it a reality all these years that should have been more progress. And I think we've got our responsibility to carry out what was already put forth. And it's more than just I think we have to remind our children it's more than just a day off. There's no school today, but they all to be a sense of teaching them who Dr. King was and what he stood for him."

Albany County Executive Dan McCoy says plans are in the works to keep the memory of Dr. King's Legacy alive during February.

"We're gonna have different guest speakers come in and talk about the impact Dr. King had on them, and a variety of other stuff going on celebration throughout the month of his legacy, and how much you can change," said McCoy. "One man, one person, let's just say one person, can change whatever they want if they put their minds to it."

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan speaks to the Martin Luther King Day gathering in Lincoln Park. (January 16, 2023)
Dave Lucas
/
WAMC
Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan addresses the Martin Luther King Day gathering in Lincoln Park. (January 16, 2023)

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Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.