ABC News(DALLAS) — A group of Texas elementary school students honored Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by carrying on the work he began, giving speeches inspired by his life and mission.
The theme of this year's Foley Gardere Martin Luther King Jr. Oratory competition for fourth- and fifth-graders from Dallas and Houston was "What would Dr. King say to the children of the world today?"
"Dr. King would say to the kids of today’s world, there’s always room for improvement," fifth-grader Layla James said in her speech.
"No matter your ethnicity, race or gender … you come from a people that fought to make life better," Nyla Johnson, a fifth-grader, said. "You come from a legacy that says, 'I will not settle for second best.'"
"What have you decided to do when you grow up?" fifth-grader Emmanuel Akukoro asked. "Will you be a doctor? A lawyer or a teacher? You can be anything if you put your mind to it."
Leik Mire, also in fifth grade, said: "Let's get off of Facebook … and put our face in a book!"
Fourth-grader Chrisette Wigfall quoted the legendary civil rights leader, saying, "Dr. King once said, 'Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.'"
Alexa Zelya, a fourth-grader, powerfully stated, "It is not through separation, but through uniqueness that make us all one. One nation, one power, one people, together."
Alexandra Torres said she felt it was her generation's mission to finish the work King began, proclaiming, "Thank you, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. What you started, we are going to finish it."
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