Cranford Mayor recognizes MLK Jr. with proclamation

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CRANFORD, NJ — During the Township Committee meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 11, Cranford Mayor Kathleen Miller Prunty and other committee members recognized Martin Luther King Jr. with a proclamation and kind words to reflect his strength, dignity and relentlessness in the fight for equality for black people in the civil rights era, before being assassinated on April 4, 1968. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is recognized annually on the third Monday of January and was celebrated on Jan. 17 this year.

In honor of King’s hard work and sacrifice for equality for all, Miller Prunty read the Cranford proclamation honoring King.

“Whereas Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was the leader of this country’s civil rights movement and his voice and words continue to inspire us,” Miller Prunty said during the meeting. “Whereas Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was born in Atlanta on Jan. 15, 1929, the second child of the Rev. Martin Luther King Sr. and Alberta Williams King. Whereas in 1957, Dr. King helped organize the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to end segregation using nonviolent protests, led numerous demonstrations against discrimination, including rallies, sit-ins, freedom rides and voter registration drives.

“In the 1963 March on Washington, where he delivered his famed ‘I Have a Dream’ speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial,” she continued. “Whereas Dr. King’s last protest took place on March 28, 1968, when he led a march in Memphis, Tenn., in support of striking sanitation workers and whereas millions of people in the United States and around the world mourned when learning of Dr. King’s assassination on April 4, 1968. Now, therefore, I, Kathleen Miller Prunty, mayor of the township of Cranford, proclaim Jan. 17, 2022, as Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the township of Cranford. Let it be a day of service as a continuing acknowledgment and remembrance of Dr. King’s extraordinary accomplishments for the fervent hope that, one day, all people of all nations will be free at last.”

Commissioner Gina Black also spoke kind words about King, and shared her favorite quote by King.

“We’re coming up on the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday, and I think that’s always a good time to recognize the contributions and also take some inspiration from his words, and he had many inspiring words,” said Black at the meeting. “I’ll just leave with a simple quote, which will hopefully inspire me for the upcoming year, and that is this: ‘The time is always right to do what is right.’”

Commissioner Mary O’Connor, who shared Black’s sentiments, also urged residents to participate in the MLK day of service.

“This Monday is a great opportunity to honor Dr. King,” O’Connor said during the meeting, “his work, his dreams and his legacy. There’s a lot of need out there, and the pandemic has just increased that need tremendously -— St. Joe’s Soup Kitchen, Raphael’s Life House Inc., Coalition to House the Homeless, the Cranford Family Care food pantry — these are all wonderful organizations, and they do so much for the community, and they really do need your help now.

“If you have time Monday, buy a loaf of bread and buy whatever sandwich fixings you’d like to make, wrap them in sandwich bags, put them back in the bag and drop them off,” she continued. “It’s really simple to do that. You can also make monetary donations to any of these organizations through the Martin Luther King Jr. service day. It’s a great day for Cranford to step up and look out for people. Not just in our community, but in all of our neighboring communities also. I will leave you with one other Dr. King quote that I like: ‘Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.’”