LIers observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Long Islanders joined the nation in celebrating the life and legacy of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Monday. This year's Martin Luther King Day, celebrated

The federal holiday is meant to recognize the iconic civil rights leader's birthday.

The federal holiday is meant to recognize the iconic civil rights leader's birthday. (1/18/16)

WOODBURY - Long Islanders joined the nation in celebrating the life and legacy of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Monday.

This year's Martin Luther King Day, celebrated on the third Monday of January near King's Jan. 15 birthday, is the 30th since its establishment. 

President Barack Obama took part in a community service program in Washington.

On Long Island, there were celebrations and events in both Nassau and Suffolk counties. Some residents told News 12 they honor King's memory by performing acts of service.

Dozens of volunteers packed and sorted hats, scarves, and food for the needy at the Mt. Sinai Baptist Church in Roosevelt.

Nkenge Gilliam, of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, which has ties to the Civil Rights Movement, said the event is an important way to mark King's legacy.

"This is a day on," Gilliam said. "Not a day off to get a special sale at the mall."

Many of the participants said they volunteer throughout the year, but consider Martin Luther King Day special.

Donations were sent to people in Roosevelt, a charity in Suffolk County, and to help local veterans.

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