Students from Sisters Elementary School took to the streets on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. photo by Isaak Kanzig
Students from Sisters Elementary School took to the streets on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. photo by Isaak Kanzig
Sisters residents marched through town and along Cascade Avenue on Monday. Passersby waved. Trucks blasted their horns. One driver, pulling a long load of lumber, held his fingers out in the peace symbol.

Clay Warburton, a fourth-grade teacher at Sisters Elementary School, initiated the peaceful march. He said, “I’ve been teaching the kids in my class about civil rights for about 10-15 years. This year I wanted to take it that extra step.”

“My arm is tired,” said Echo Wilkie, age 8. “Choose Kind,” her sign read on one side. The other side announced, “Martin Luther King, Jr. is awesome.”

Wilkie admired Dr. King “because he changed so many things in the world. He changed that black people or colored people can go to the same school as white people.” She would like to see people “get along, all over the world.”

“Being an American comes with responsibility,” Warburton said.

“We have to think about all of our citizens… Our march was about gratitude and connection to history, and being thankful for people showing us the courage it takes to make big change in your country.”

Leanne Ruzzamenti was visiting Sisters from Camas, Washington. She found the march “very inspirational. I was very glad to see everyone out spreading hope and love. I loved all their really unique signs and positive messages.”

Emmer Luhning, age 4, held a colorful sign with a heart, made with his mom Jessica. His dad Macon said, “I think the work Martin Luther King Jr. did for civil rights is amazing. We wouldn’t be where we are today without him, and there’s more work to be done.”

More of the parade’s artwork and young voices will be featured in an upcoming issue of “Kids in Print” in The Nugget Newspaper.