PEEKSKILL, N.Y. – Westchester residents of all faiths were invited to Peekskill Middle School on Monday afternoon to celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the city’s 28th Annual Interfaith Service.
“We’re pleased to co-sponsor this service, which celebrates diversity and celebrates the fight and struggle for equality and for human rights,” said Archbishop Michael Champion, president of the Peekskill Area Pastors Association. “We’re here to focus on Dr. King as a man of faith.”
To celebrate King's life, rabbis, reverends and other religious leaders lead the crowd in sacred readings. Peekskill Middle School student Miles Harvey also read an excerpt from “Drum Major Instinct,“ a famous King sermon.
"If you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice," read Harvey. "Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter."
The event was filled with several musical numbers and hymns, including a duet of “America the Beautiful” by Afua Yeboah of Peekskill High School and Sierra Nelson of Walter Panas High School.
The school welcomed a full house of residents, including several politicians on the local, county and state level. Sen. Greg Ball (R), Assembly member Sandy Galef (D), Peekskill Mayor Mary Foster, County Legislator John Testa (R-1), County Legislator Catherine Borgia (D-9) and other Cortlandt and Peekskill council members were among those who attended the event.
“As elected officials, we are all there to continue (King’s) dream, whether it’s providing education to all of our children, health care to all the people we represent, equality on the government issues, being sure that we try to encourage employment for all and to have no stumbling blocks on the way,” said Galef.
To cap off the interfaith service, the crowed joined together to sing “We Shall Overcome.”