Martin Luther King Jr. flag raising event held at Springfield City Hall

King would have been 89 years old on Monday

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Friday and over the weekend, western Massachusetts and other communities across the country honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King.

An affectionate Springfield salute to Dr. King’s accomplishments took place on Friday.

“I have a dream,” Dr. King’s immortal words were never far from the hearts of the dozens of people who filled the room at city hall.

Longtime Springfield NAACP President Ida Flynn had begun this tradition back in 1983. She described Dr. King as a man for all of the people, “for everyone for justice, he was for justice for all, he gave his life for it.”

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But the program honoring Dr. King’s memory belonged to the students at the Martin Luther King Charter School in Springfield.

They spoke his words and spoke their own of what they had learned of the iconic civil rights leader of decades ago.

Nasiya Yates is a fifth grader at the charter school. Yates told 22News,”on August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King delivered the “I Have a Dream” speech before 250,000 [people].”

Yates mom Rachel is so proud of her daughter’s contribution to this program commemorating the life of Dr. King and what he taught.

“There’s no racial barriers, everybody should be treated equally,” Rachel told 22News. “On the same platform it doesn’t matter if you’re African American, Asian.”

The flag bearing the image of Dr. King would later be flying over Springfield City Hall honoring the rights leader and all he stood for.