Monday, January 17, 2011
Today provides us with an opportunity to reflect on the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. During a difficult time in the history of our nation he stood firmly upon the belief first expressed by President Lincoln that "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal" and confronted oppression and intolerance with faith, character and perseverance.
The struggle to advance civil rights was long and persistent, and yet even as his own life was at risk, Dr. King marched forward peacefully with his head held high and with a clear, powerfull voice for positive change. That vision for change was immortalized in his "I have a dream " speech, delivered at perhaps the height of racial tensions in March of 1963 to thousands gathered at the Lincoln Memorial. His dedication, sacrifice and risk made that dream a reality in America and has inspired others around the globe.
An excerpt from that now famous speech still echoes with truth and relevance:
"Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children”
May we all reflect today on Dr. King's contributions to our nation and the ways we can each provide support for freedom and equality.