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The Rev. Damon LynchThe Rev. Damon Lynch Jr. of Cincinnati, Ohio, emphasized peace and justice in his King Day message today at the Reardon Center, Kansas City, Kan. (Staff photo)
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King DayThe Rev. Damon Lynch Jr. (Photo by Mary Rupert)
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King Day Choir 1King Day Choir (Photo by Mary Rupert)
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King Day Kiddie KollegeKing Day Kiddie Kollege (Photo by Mary Rupert)
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King Day 9The Rev. Damon Lynch Jr. (Photo by Mary Rupert)
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King Day 10The Rev. Damon Lynch Jr. (Photo by Mary Rupert)
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King Day 11Archbishop Joseph Naumann (Photo by Mary Rupert)
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King Day 12Monsignor Michael Mullen (Photo by Mary Rupert)
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King Day 13The Rev. Mack McConnell (Photo by Mary Rupert)
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King DayHelping voters register Jan. 21 at the King Day celebration in Kansas City, Kan., were Kelly Connor Wilson, Amanda Johnson and Julie Hickman. The Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority staffed a voter registration booth at the King Day celebration at the Reardon Center. (Photo by Mary Rupert)
The Rev. Damon Lynch
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Justice and peace were themes that ran through today’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration at the Reardon Center, Kansas City, Kan.
The Rev. Damon Lynch Jr. of Cincinnati, Ohio, said this past year some people in America were saying that “we want our country back” the way it was 50 years ago.
“Never again,” Lynch said, “we will never go back to the way it was 50 years ago. We are moving forward and moving on.”
A packed civic center room, with more than 1,000 people present, heard today’s King Day message in Kansas City, Kan. Lynch participated in the civil rights movement. He started the first Martin Luther King March, along with Virginia Coffey, the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth and Charlene Ventura.
During the past 50 years, a hope has spread through the human race, Lynch said. But society has not reached its goals yet, with unemployment high and some people without enough to eat. Wall Street is doing fine, but what about Main Street, he asked, citing a figure that 1 percent of the people have most of the wealth, while 99 percent do not.
Quoting the Bible, Lynch said if justice is really to roll down like the waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream, “then we’re going to have to change our ways.” He challenged those in attendance. What would God say about immigrants, he asked. “Entertain the stranger,” he answered.
“Without justice, a level playing field among people cannot be achieved,” Lynch said. “God’s greatest attribute is justice.”
Lynch said that some people are not recognizing others as human, and when they look at them as subhuman, they think they can do whatever they want to do with them. That, he believes, is what has happened with a segment of America’s attitude toward the Oval Office.
Lynch also advised those attending to find peace, to go back to where they were peaceful as children. For him, it is nature, he said.
“Human beings are the only ones who hate,” Lynch said.
He urged families to get rid of their guns and live in peace. “Where is the peace?” he asked about countries at war in the Mideast. “There will be no peace until we all get involved with the Prince of Peace.
“We must become peacemakers and not peacekeepers,” Lynch said. “If we continue to attack each other, humanity has no future.”
He urged those attending to spread peace wherever they go.
Others participating in today’s King Day celebration were Monsignor Michael Mullen of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church; the Rev. Mack McConnell, Third Missionary Baptist Church; Archbishop Joseph Naumann of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas; Mayor Joe Reardon; the Rev. Ricky Turner; the Rev. Robert Milan Jr.; the Rev. Tony Carter Jr,, general program chairman; LaVert Murray, general coordinator; and Pastor Ronald Williams of Bethel SDA Church.
A Mass Choir sang several selections, and other participants included the Kiddie Kollege Nursery School and Kindergarten; Creative Movements Dance praise dancers; Greater Pentecostal Temple’s Mass Dance Ministry and Greater Pentecostal Temple’s Men of Worship.
Scholarships totaling more than $30,000 were awarded to high school students as part of today’s program.
(Photos by Mary Rupert)