Monday, the nation honors the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The slain civil rights leader will be the subject of a number of events in communities around the country, including in Connecticut.
The 32nd annual bell ringing of the Liberty Bell in Hartford is a symbol of freedom and justice to honor all of the things for which King stood. Gov. Dannel Malloy rang the bell at the state capitol on Monday afternoon.
"In the United States, we recognize Dr. Martin Luther King as perhaps the nation’s leading civil rights champion – advocating for a society that guarantees equality, justice, and freedom for all. But what we also must recognize is that he understood that civil rights was merely the beginning of a discussion that needed to be had in this country on social and economic justice. We cannot sit back on a day like this and celebrate the victories that we’ve had in the past – we have to understand that much work remains to be done if we’re to be the society that Dr. King thought we could and should be. Particularly at this turbulent moment in our nation’s history, we cannot forget that the fight for equal opportunity, equal justice, and an equal voice in our democracy never ends," Malloy said in a statement on Monday.Each year, the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Commission Distinction Award is given to people in the community who work to advance King's work.
King was considered to be a brilliant motivational speaker who used his passionate words to end racial and economic inequality.
“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up, live out the true meaning of its creed," King said in his famous speech.
Monday is a federal holiday. Government officers and the U.S. stock exchange is closed.
King was killed in April 1968. This year marks 50 years since the assassination.
In 1983, President Ronald Regan signed the holiday into law and it continues to be observed on the third Monday in January.
This year, it falls on Jan. 15, which is King's birthday. He would have been 89 years old.
Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman attended the Delta Sigma Theta awarding annual MLK Day scholarship event in Hartford. Wyman tweeted the event recognizes academic excellence and community service. “Dr. King’s lessons are as valuable today as they were 50 years ago. The power of rising up in nonviolent protest has shaped the best changes we’ve made to protect voting rights, civil rights, human rights, and women’s rights. And, we have become a stronger state as a result. The work to lift people out of poverty, to invest in education and opportunity, and to stand together against injustice and hate – these are key to a stronger Connecticut and a stronger America. Our days of rising up are not over yet," Wyman said in a statement on Monday.
U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy said 15 elementary, middle, and high school students from across Connecticut were announced as winners of the second annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Essay Challenge.
“Dr. King inspired us all to fight for justice and equality. For the second year in a row, I’m totally blown away by the essays and ideas of these students. It was hard to pick just a few winners,” Murphy said in a statement on Monday. “Today, we reflect on Dr. King’s legacy, and I hope that students across Connecticut who wrote essays took it as an opportunity to do so. If they stay engaged and fight hard for what they believe in, they can accomplish anything they set their minds to.”
Other MLK celebrations in the state include: Hartford- Comptroller Kevin Lembo to speak at University of Bridgeport ceremony, 11 a.m. Meriden - Rep. Elizabeth Esty at Maloney High School, Gravel Street, 9 a.m. - 10 a.m. New Britain - Trinity on Main, Main Street, 11 a.m. New Haven - The New Haven Museum, Whitney Avenue, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Simsbury - First Church, Hopmeadow Street, 2 p.m. Windsor - Archer A.M.E. Zion Church, 2 p.m.Copyright 2018 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.