NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Observances are being held across the country today in honor of what would have been the 83rd birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

A celebration is being held for the first time in his honor at the new King Memorial in Washington D.C. where Rev. Al Sharpton and others placed a wreath to honor the slain civil rights leader.

Monday marks the first King holiday where visitors can celebrate the memorial which was dedicated last August.

1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reports

In New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg marked the occasion with a breakfast with actress Angela Bassett. He will speak at an observance later in the day at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Eighty students from P.S. 140 are participating in volunteer projects to celebrate the holiday which is meant to be a national day of service.

“I feel like if Martin Luther King was alive then he would probably be happy,” 9-year-old Zac Dilella told CBS 2’s Kathryn Brown.

The students are making blankets for the homeless and potholders for senior citizens which they will deliver directly to those in need later this week.

Meanwhile, in Harlem, 4,000 high school athletes observed the day by running relays in Dr. King’s memory.

WCBS 880’s Catherine Cioffi On Malcolm X Boulevard

Instead of taking the day off, students from the Manhattan Country School took to the streets carrying posters decorated with images of Dr. Martun Luther King, Jr. and his quotes on MLK Day to to draw attention to present day civil rights issues.

“This whole march is about equality,” said 13-year-old Micca.

He number one issue: youth immigration rights.

“They come to america, but they’re not able to have a college education because they don’t have all their papers, but they could be lawyers or activists,” she told WCBS 880 reporter Catherine Cioffi.

She says there’s still a lot of fighting that needs to be done.

“Martin Luther King’s dream – it’s still out there and it’s still trying to find it’s way through,” she said.

“Martin Luther King Day is the day when you’re supposed to be working and thinking about how to change the world and its present state,” said 13-year-old Emma.

She says she’s most concerned about inequality in education.

“There still is a lot of segregation in schools just because of where youths are living based on their ethnicity or wealth,” she said.

She says she wants better for her world.

“MLK would not be resting right now,” she said.

WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs In Glen Cove

Those young and old, black and white sang out praise at Glen Cove’s newly dedicated Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Way, and a parade organized by Cheryl Gadine.

“We all have the responsibility of keeping Dr. King’s life and his legacy in the forefront, and pass on all of his peaceful philosophies to our children,” she said.

Young children led the parade carrying a banner celebrating Dr. King.

“If you don’t learn from this you tend to repeat the mistakes, and it’s very important for the young children to learn that we’re all in this together,” said mayor Ralph Suozzi, who proudly marched behind.

All government offices, schools and most banks are closed in observance of the federal holiday. There is no regular mail service and the stock markets are closed.

MTA bus and subway service is running, for the most part, on a regular weekday schedule. The Staten Island Ferry is also running on a regular weekday schedule.

The Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North are operating on a holiday schedule with off-peak fares.

NJ TRANSIT is operate on a weekend schedule.

What are you doing to mark the holiday? Let us know below…

Comments (4)
  1. hghjgjhgf says:

    in honor of mlk, almost all blacks did not work today, much like every other day

  2. LibLieExposer says:

    I am ***offended*** by the MLK “holiday”. Where are the ACLU and the Atheists Union that demonized Christianity and the CHRISTMAS holiday to demand that posters of MLK be taken down from PUBLIC SCHOOLS and other PUBLIC BUILDINGS as they have done to Christmas decorations, prayer banners, etc? MLK was a religious figure, as was Jesus Christ. If Christians are forced by the radical left to remove from public buildings expressions of Christian faith and celebrations, as was just done in Cranston, Rhode Island to a school prayer banner, then celebrations of ***REVEREND*** MLK MUST BE SECULARIZED AS WELL! It is the FAIR thing to do! Right Obama-lovers? You all want what’s FAIR! No more MLK holiday – it should be officially called MID-JANUARY HOLIDAY. If you can take the Christ out of Christmas, then we can take the MLK out of MLK day. Lincoln’s birthday and Washington’s birthday were separate holidays when I was in grade school, then that got consolidated to “President’s Day”. Maybe to secularize it, instead of MLK Day it could be “Disobedience Day” 🙂

    What say you liberals and atheists – Happy Mid-January Holiday to you! 🙂 🙂 🙂 And I expect to see atheists at work or in schools as appropriate on Christmas, Good Friday, Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, even on “Mid-January holiday” etc. even if the offices are closed. No excuse for them to NOT be at work or school on those days!

    1. ron pablo for mejicanos says:

      And if old Martin were alive today, he would ashamed of the corruption of his beneficiary, Barry Soetero – as well as that of Bush and Clinton. But good comment.

  3. Because It's Fashionable says:

    One measly lousy day of “service”.

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