Monday, January 15, 2007

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

In my rush to get to work this morning, I neglected to acknowledge a true American patriot who would have turned 78 today had he not been cut down in the prime of life and at the apex of his power by an cowardly assassin's bullet in 1968. I was an innocent, six year-old on that April day and what I remember most is that everyone was crying. The kind of tears you cry when a beloved family member dies, because that is what Martin Luther King Jr. was, a father of civil rights and human dignity in the United States.
He is sorely missed and desperately needed in an America that he might think, if he were alive today, was reminiscent of the time before he began his civil rights campaign. Numerous others have written and orated beautifully today, so I won't bog the eloquence. Suffice to say, Happy Birthday Dr. King and thank you for all you have done for our country.

From Op99: a link to MLK's "Beyond Vietnam". Timely. Brilliant.

4 comments:

Pandabonium said...

Pretty amazing to read or listen to his words today - forty years later - and appreciate how relevant they still are.

op99 said...

We can dust off the words of Martin Luther King accepting the Nobel Peace Prize on December 10, 1964, and still find them relevant, even a beacon, today.

...I refuse to accept the cynical notion that nation after nation must spiral down a militaristic stairway into the hell of thermonuclear destruction. I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right temporarily defeated is stronger than evil triumphant. I believe that even amid today's motor bursts and whining bullets, there is still hope for a brighter tomorrow. I believe that wounded justice, lying prostrate on the blood-flowing streets of our nations, can be lifted from this dust of shame to reign supreme among the children of men. I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits. I believe that what self-centered men have torn down men other-centered can build up. I still believe that one day mankind will bow before the altars of God and be crowned triumphant over war and bloodshed, and nonviolent redemptive good will proclaim the rule of the land. "And the lion and the lamb shall lie down together and every man shall sit under his own vine and fig tree and none shall be afraid." I still believe that We Shall overcome!...

op99 said...

We could change a just few words in this "Beyond Vietnam" speech, and make it as compelling a moral statment today about the US's position vis a vis Iraq.

http://www.stanford.edu/group/King/publications/speeches/Beyond_Vietnam.pdf

HopeSpringsATurtle said...

Thank you op..i will add the link to the speech to the post.