Today is the official commemoration of Dr. King’s birthday. But for me, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is everyday.
Each morning, my son and I walk to his elementary school – named after Dr. King. Each day, we see his face in bas-relief and read inscriptions of his words. Each day, we read the school’s motto, “Keeping the Dream Alive Everyday.”
This year, the commemoration of Dr. King’s birthday is especially poignant, as it is followed tomorrow by a realization of his dream as Barack Obama becomes the first African-American president. Obama gave a speech yesterday on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, the same place where Dr. King delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech on August 28, 1963. (See a video of his speech here.)
“Directly in front of us is a pool that still reflects the dream of a king,” said Obama, “and the glory of a people who marched and bled so that their children might be judged by their character’s content. And behind me, watching over the union he saved, sits the man who in so many ways made this day possible.”
These are meaningful and stirring words, but the words that moved me even more were those of my son. When he watched part of the “I Have a Dream” video with me, I asked him what it meant to him: “I believe in him. That man shot him, but it didn’t stop it. The dream of Martin Luther King still lives on.”
Indeed it does.
What does Dr. King’s Day mean to you?
What thoughts and feelings does it stir?
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Or, if you prefer, drop us a quick Email. (Note on photo: King is remembered in the names of streets, schools and a host of other public buildings, plus statues and murals around the world. The image today is of a young man studying a detail of a King mural in progress.)