It’s 2018, and I, like so many, often take for granted the condition in which we find our nation. I look around and see a myriad of people going about their daily life enjoying the freedoms that America affords.
I see school children spanning the vast arrays of melatonin playing and learning side-by-side... people of all ethnic backgrounds and religious affiliations working together, interacting with one another, worshipping together, and standing united in a common purpose - a common dream. Viewing the face of America today, I can scarcely believe this country I know, and love was the polar opposite of itself only fifty years ago. It is in this vein that I pause on this auspicious day to reflect upon a man who would come to epitomize the word "peace" in the midst of the Civil Rights Movement, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The message that Dr. King espoused during his lifetime was, and remains a message that rises above partisan politics and resonates with all of humanity. While I'm not making a political statement, I would be remiss if I did not stop to recognize the work of a man who had a vision of peace and harmony for our great nation regardless of political affiliation.
Of the many adjectives that I can think of to describe the American people, hopeful is at the top of the list; however, for far too long, an important portion of our populace, the African American community, had little to hope for from a nation that had caused so much hurt to them, yet Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. came into the forefront bearing a message of renewed hope and healing to an injured people and nation.
In an effort to spur our country to live by its noblest principles, Dr. King put his life on the line in the pursuit of justice and freedom. He was a man acquainted with beatings, jail, and death threats, a man who paid the ultimate price for the sake of democracy... democracy for us all.
As we commemorate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we recall his life dedicated to the timeless values of truth, service, humility, love, compassion, courage, and peace. He championed the cause for our country to live by its noblest principles. His message and life’s work radically changed the United States of America, and as more than 100 nations celebrate his vision of ecumenical solidarity, indeed, the world.
Today, we not only remember the legacy of Dr. King but also thank him for his selfless dedication to the ideals of freedom and equality.
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness: Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: Only love can do that." – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.