By Danny Schrafel
Dozens of proponents of peace packed the Tri CYA Saturday to take a stand for harmony in Huntington Station.
The rally, which was moved indoors amidst cold, windy, wet weather, aimed to throw a counterpunch – of love – at a wave of violence and sadness that has gripped Huntington Station in recent months, trigged most recently by the Oct. 12 stabbing death of 18-year-old Walt Whitman High School senior Maggie Rosales.
After marching into the Tri CYA lobby wearing T-shirts and holding signs promoting peace and unity, youngsters from the Tri CYA read poetry and famous quotes from civil rights leaders, including Martin Luther King, Jr.
“We want peace,” organizer Crystal White proclaimed through a bullhorn in the Tri CYA’s lobby, packed with children holding signs. “It’s a wonderful community. We want everyone working together. We are one community… whatever we have to do from this day forward to work together, we are willing.”
“We’ve just come to spread a little peace, and let you know that this is a great community,” Rev. Bernadette Watkins, of Huntington Outreach Ministries, said. “Huntington does matter, and we all matter.”
That peace, Watkins said, comes from within. Peace and love, she added, are intertwined and transcend all boundaries. She led those gathered, who included Legislator William Spencer (D-Centerport) and Huntington Councilwoman Tracey Edwards, in a chant of, “It’s all about love.”
“If you have a lot of hatred and malice in you, then it’s very hard to stand up for peace,” she said. “Let’s put some peace in us so we can let it come out and shine forth to others.”
Organizers pledged to rally monthly. They are planning to go to their initially planned rallying point, the corner of Church Street and New York Avenue, at 1 p.m. this Saturday.