Raising Our Voices for King
The Atlanta Boys Choir (with me as a member) honor King at Georgia Capitol.
King was born in Atlanta on January 15, 1929. King’s birthday is now celebrated around the nation. In Atlanta, the tradition has been to hold memorial ceremonies to remember King and his fight for equal rights and opportunities.
The Monday closest to King’s birthday became a federal holiday after President Ronald Reagan signed a bill establishing that into law in 1983. The holiday has been fully observed by all 50 states since 2000.
A King memorial ceremony was held January 14 in downtown Atlanta at the Georgia State Capitol. The Atlanta Boy Choir—with me being as a member—was there to sing for the ceremony commemorating King.
The spot light was on Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue and the King family members. Many Georgia government officials, community leaders, and civil rights leaders were present. The second term Governor hosted the King memorial celebration at the State Capitol. He said King was a “young man who rose to preach the whole gospel.”
On the grand staircase inside the Capitol building, I was in the ranks of the Atlanta Boys Choir, singing to kick off the event. Shortly after that, the National Anthem was sung while the military color guard presented the American and Georgia flag.
Many people cheered as several community leaders, including Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, spoke of King and his legacy and how Atlanta and America should continue his dream.
After my choir finished the last song, the audience gave a standing ovation before we proudly exited up the grand staircase.
The whole event was completed with one last round of applause for all the officials and all the people attending the ceremony. The next part was my favorite.
Before we left the Capitol, it was too tempting not to get some punch and cookies provided at the Rotunda. After all, this was one of the significant events in Atlanta .
As Martin Luther King III reminded us in the ceremony, “the official King Holiday next Monday is designed to be a day of service.”
The citizens of Atlanta continue to follow King’s dream and put his words into actions.
PHOTO: The Atlanta Boy Choir at the state capitol in Atlanta, Georgia. Andrew Liang is on the left, third from the top. (Photo Courtesy Andrew Liang)