West Bloomfield resident Martie Lynch holds up a sign that contains a quote from Martin Luther King Jr. Lynch had 400 signs printed containing quotes from King.

West Bloomfield resident Martie Lynch holds up a sign that contains a quote from Martin Luther King Jr. Lynch had 400 signs printed containing quotes from King.

Photo by Deb Jacques


WB resident has signs printed to promote peace and equality

By: Mark Vest | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published July 1, 2020

 West Bloomfield residents Jerry and Martie Lynch have helped distribute signs that contain quotes from Martin Luther King Jr.

West Bloomfield residents Jerry and Martie Lynch have helped distribute signs that contain quotes from Martin Luther King Jr.

Photo by Deb Jacques

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WEST BLOOMFIELD — Like so many around the country, West Bloomfield resident Martie Lynch was dismayed by the death of George Floyd, a black resident in Minnesota who died after a white police officer pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes.

Lynch knew she wanted to do something, but what?

Some chose protests and rallies as their way to express their outrage and frustration over what had occurred.

However, another idea came to Lynch’s mind. She decided to have yard signs printed that contain quotes from Martin Luther King Jr. and to offer them to friends and people in the community for free.

Lynch found a printer who she said was “much less expensive than anybody else I talked to.”

She said the printer told her he had young children and wanted them to “grow up in a better world, and by doing this I can be a part of it, too.”

“Since the death and all the riots, I had felt really badly,” Lynch said. “I felt like, here I live in West Bloomfield, I’m pretty comfortable, and I didn’t know what to do. I felt like I had to do something. I have been a part of the Martin Luther King walks for quite some time in West Bloomfield, and many of those quotes came to my mind of Martin Luther King, so I decided to have some yard signs printed and distributed in West Bloomfield.”

Lynch had 400 signs printed, each containing one of seven quotes from King.

Aside from distributing the signs herself, West Bloomfield Fire Department Station No. 5 has also helped out by allowing Lynch to have some stored there.

“We want to be supportive of positive messages within the community,” said Fire Department Chief Gregory Flynn. “(I) think she was looking for a partner here where people could come, so that people weren’t going to a personal residence. … We have a lobby area (where) we can easily display the signs. So residents can come in, sort through them, and pick out the message that they connect with best.”

Lynch said she has had “very few people” say no to having a sign put in their yard.

She discussed what she hopes comes from the signs.

“I think that maybe people will look at peace instead of violence and think that Martin Luther King had some good ideas that’s so valid today, and maybe we should act like we care; let people know that West Bloomfield cares about what people of color are going through,” Lynch said.

Lynch doesn’t think there is an expiration date for the validity of the quotes.

“I think they’re always applicable,” she said. “Like he says, ‘I decided to stick with love; hate is too big a burden to bear.’ So true.”

Lynch has been supported in a cause she has opted to take on in her own way.

“I have been getting very positive, encouraging feedback,” she said. “I’d like to be an ally to people, and I would like something to change for next generations. So now my job is to get 400 signs planted in the yards, mostly in West Bloomfield.”

The message Lynch would like to convey is a fairly simple one.

“Do something,” she said. “Whatever you’re inspired to do that would make a difference in any way. … This is not the world we want our children to live in; this is wrong.”

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