Olivia Samerdyke, Editor-in-Chief
Thirteen years ago, a gentleman came to my second-grade class to talk to us about Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Beginning his lecture, he told us that we could all pick out a sticker, but that he had the wrong pair of glasses on, so to be patient with him. If someone asked for a red sticker, they got blue. My friend Sungmee asked for pink, and she received neon green. Being kind of a smart-aleck, I asked for a green sticker to see if he’d give me a pink one. He did. But I got the message behind the little game—that ultimately the color of our stickers was not important.
At the march on Monday night, it was too dark for stickers or drawings. The wind blew hard enough to make keeping candles lit difficult, although the marchers kept trying and happily relit each other’s candles when the need arose. They also sang songs such as “This Little Light of Mine,” made more poignant by the struggle to keep the candles lit in the wind and 30 degree weather.
Both MBC voices and the voices of Staunton community members mingled in the singing during the march. Not only did students and community members mingle, but people of many different backgrounds and nationalities turned out to march and participate in the memorial service following. MBC’s distinguished guest from Pakistan, Dr. Nasreen Akhtar marched, too.
“She wouldn’t miss this,” Dr. Kenneth Beals said by way of introduction.
Even though the hour made it too dark for the stickers I remembered from elementary school, and the wind too harsh for the candles to remain lit for very long, so many backgrounds and smiling faces added plenty of color, and light, to the night of remembrance.