Monday, the state observed Martin Luther King Jr. Day with bell ringing and celebration. Governor Maggie Hassan and members of New Hampshire’s congressional delegation attended an event in Manchester.
This was the first of two events that take place in Manchester for MLK Day each year.
Governor Maggie Hassan said in her speech that she found parallels between the pioneers for racial equality and those who fought for the rights of people with disabilities, such as her twenty-five year old son, Ben, who has cerebral palsy.
“And I was reminded, every day that he went off to school in his hometown of Exeter, to make friends and to learn, rather than to live in an institution, that it was the work of families and advocates that went before us that made his progress, his inclusion and my family’s quality of life possible.”
U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen and Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter were also in attendance. Organizers and attendees were wearing stickers protesting the state’s death penalty law. And the keynote speaker was Shujaa Graham; a man who was wrongly sentenced to death row in California and later won his freedom.