Remembering Martin Luther King

Terri Rainey, co-founder of the Dr. Martin Luther King Coalition on Maui and Oahu, rings a bell for the 39th and final time Wednesday to mark the 50th anniversary of King’s assassination. The bell ceremony sponsored by the Hawaii Government Employees Association was moved inside to the Mayor’s Lounge due to inclement weather. Participants took turns ringing the bell to mark the number of years of King’s life. Rainey said as a child she met King when he visited her church in Los Angeles. She introduced herself to the civil rights leader and told him she was reading a book he wrote. “He told me, ‘Little girl, I always want you to be honest, to help others and to make a difference,’ ” Rainey said. At the end of the ceremony, Waikapu’s Wallette Pellegrino (second photo) snaps a selfie with Mary Wagner, HGEA Unit 13 state board chairwoman. Wagner said she was 14 the day King died and remembers rioting in Joliet, Ill. “It shook our world to lose Dr. King,” she said. “The world was just turned upside down at the loss of this one man.”

The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photos