About 100 Glen Cove community leaders marched down Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Way Monday morning, singing "Kumbaya" and "We Shall Overcome" to commemorate the civil rights leader’s birthday and the renaming of Bridge Street in his honor.
They joined about 250 residents for a program called "One Nation, One People — The Time is Now" at Finley Middle School, where Mayor Ralph V. Suozzi called Glen Cove "a beautiful place because of its diversity."
Students, families, religious leaders, police and firefighters, and local politicians were in attendance for the music and poetry.
Suozzi asked the audience to live King's message of peace and build a better community by doing so.
“If you cannot help your neighbor, you cannot help your neighborhood,” he said.
“If you cannot help your neighborhood, you cannot help your community. If you cannot help your community, you cannot help your country,” Suozzi said.
Joseph Laria, superintendent of Glen Cove schools, called King's 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech “a blueprint for social justice.”
The Glen Cove event was one of several being held around Long Island Monday to honor King’s work and memory.
The Rev. Roger C. Williams, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Glen Cove, encouraged residents to pick up where King left off.
"Know that 'We Shall Overcome' is merely an opening hymn, it is not the benediction," he said, continuing, "Let us march on."