Monday, January 19, 2009

Happy Martin Luther King Day

I couldn't let this day pass without saying a little something. You all knew I would. Today I watched the "Dream Speech" on YouTube. I would highly recommend doing that to all of you. I know you think you know it, but I always hear something new in it and reading it is not the same as hearing the words from the great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and seeing the people in the crowd that day. Today what struck me the most were these words, "Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends. And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal." Yes, there has been progress, as evidenced by the event this nation will witness tomorrow. Yes, there are still difficulties ahead.

I tried to find some sort of MLK Day celebration near me that I could take my kids to today. I couldn't find anything. I sat down to watch the speech alone while the kids played in the back room. About 15 seconds into it Moses came out and climbed up next to me on the couch. He laid his head down on my shoulder and watched with me. Everytime the crowd would clap, Moses would clap too. Thank you, Dr. King.


Anonymous said...

A marvelous speech! And a truly great American. Thanks for encouraging us to watch the speech on YouTube. It never loses its power to inspire. I am blessed to have been a boy when he was here among us.
We have come so very far in the past 46 years - so very, very far -from where we were as a nation in our race relations. And, yes, we still have yet a long way to go.

I was 11 years old in 1963, and 16 in 1968 when Dr. King was killed. I was not free of racism then, nor am I completely even today; but thankfully I can say that even then I recognized and knew that Martin Luther King was a great American doing a great work for our country and its people. Many of the generation of my parents and older, did not feel that way about him. For the most part, these were good and decent ordinary people who just had not become enlightened about their ignorant and poisonous racist feelings. 'Traditions of their fathers' passed down and accepted.

We, as a nation and as a people, needed Dr. Martin Luther King to come and help us to see truth more clearly. We needed Branch Rickey and Jackie Robinson, and others, before him to begin to teach us that it was not enough to free men from slavery but then continue to see them as lesser human beings. It was much too slow in coming and far too many suffered unspeakable and unthinkable wrongs at the hands of others, their brothers. Too many lives were wasted; too many were irreparably marred.

May God help us to continue to see more clearly and to develop the capacity to love more earnestly, and then to live accordingly. And may we continue to benefit from the life of Dr. King and of all others who sacrificed to help us become a better people.

And may I continue to be blessed by you, my wonderful daughter Lisa.

Stuart and Kimber said...

As a Sr in high school I used that exact quote in my Sr. presentation. That speech is a powerful one. And he was an incredible orator.

We are blessed in live in a country that has been blessed by many that have had visions and the courage to see them through.

We are blessed, blessed indeed.