The annual statewide Martin Luther King Jr. oratory contest brought out some strong words from its student winners. Three of the four winners delivered their winning speeches at a downtown Columbus church in the state’s annual MLK Day ceremony.
Here are excerpts from the addresses of 8-year-old Addison Captain of Bedford, 9-year-old Elena Earley of Columbus and 15-year-old Nana Eshun of Canal Winchester:
"Our ancestors stood up in factories, sat down at lunch counters, and walked thousands of miles, all in the name of justice. So we cannot forget where we have come from. We must use our voices to speak out. We must use our feet to step up as leaders, and use both hands to work and build our community to make Dr. King’s dream a reality."
"I would like to grow up in a world with unity, a world where everyone shows love toward each other, a world where random acts of kindness are displayed often, a world of people who show compassion towards others, a world of people who respect and accept each other."
"We are now told to trust in the statement, 'I alone can fix it' instead of a unified, 'We together can fix it.'The many people of our history have taken on a fight to prevent things like the events we have witnessed in our nation. We can never truly move forward unless we completely understand and accept our past."
John Kasich also spoke at the ceremony, recalling a speech he delivered at a the King Faith Center in Atlanta a year ago. John Kasich also spoke at the ceremony, recalling a speech he delivered at a the King Faith Center in Atlanta a year ago.
Dr. King didn't focus on the 'big shots.' Dr. King didn't focus on someone in a faraway place. He was most concerned with what was happening to his neighbor and in his community.