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Jan 18, 2016 1:22 PM

Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy celebrated across NH on holiday in his honor

HOLLIS - Monday, Jan. 18 marks a very important day in history across the nation.

Across New Hampshire, the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was celebrated.

The famous words "I have a dream" - uttered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial decades ago - still resonate with Granite Staters.

"Continuing that fight, so that not just black people, but that all people are treated equal," said Roberto Landrau of Campbell High School at the 32nd Annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast in Hollis. "And that people don’t see races, color, sex or sexual orientation but that they see we are people just all living on this planet."

Landrau is just 17 years old, but said he remembers attending the breakfast celebration since he was 3 months old.

On Monday, he was the youth speaker at the event as he acknowledged how far New Hampshire has come for equality - but also that his generation leads the long road ahead.

"I was about 14 or 15 years old when Treyvon Martin was killed," he said. "That was something that was big in my life because I was like, ‘that’s me’ or who’s to say that couldn’t be me in 2 to 3 years."

Law enforcement across New Hampshire was out showing their support and spoke about the efforts to help make change.

"Anytime anyone’s rights are infringed upon its not only immoral but it’s against the law," said Chief of Police Andrew Lavoie of Nashua. "You know it’s about ethics, about morality, about professionalism and it’s about training."

Gov. Hassan joined the celebrations across the state and gave a personal anecdote of her father growing up in the segregated south after fighting side-by-side African Americans in the Battle of the Bulge.

Hassan said her father began to make change of his own, and that she keeps the message of Dr. King close.

"I thought it was important for young people to know that while sometimes we get discouraged, we have made lots of progress," she said. "And there is lots of progress that we will make together - and we will all have a brighter future for it."

Although the celebration of Dr. King’s legacy is marked on the calendar by just one day, his message of life, equality and the pursuit of happiness has not fallen deaf on Granite State ears.

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