Also in attendance were City Councilors Tim Allen and Jesse Lederman, Police Commissioner Cheryl Clapprood, President of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame John Doleva, Director of Constituent Services for State Senator Eric Lesser Jennifer Metsch and members of the community.
Mayor Sarno states, “Even as we continue to work together to defeat this COVID-19 pandemic, it is important for us to continue to hold our annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day ceremony to honor his memory and legacy as we continue to work together to improving the lives of all, no matter one’s creed, color or background. These are surreal and challenging times and now more than ever we need to come together in unity, prayer and action to build upon the work of Dr. King and those who believed in his Dream. I want to thank my Mayoral Aide Lavar Click-Bruce for helping to coordinate this event. Thank you to Congressman Neal for his continued advocacy on the federal level as he continues the battle for us in memory of the late Congressman John Lewis. Thank you to our state delegation, especially Representatives Bud Williams and Carlos Gonzalez, for their efforts and leadership on the state level. Thank you to our religious and community leaders, specifically Rev. Baymon and Bishop Swan, for your spiritual leadership and guidance.”
Bishop Swan stated, "The Greater Springfield NAACP is pleased to once again partner with the Office of Mayor Domenic Sarno to sponsor our annual MLK remembrance ceremony and flag raising. During these times of a daul pandemic of both COVID-19 and rampant injustice, it is imperative that we remember the life and legacy of Dr. King and the charge that we have to continue the work for which he sacrificed his life."
During the ceremony, Bishop Swan asked for a moment of silence for longtime NAACP Treasurer and community and political activist Sophia Jeffery who passed away late December 2021.