Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. moved the conscience of America, leaving a lasting legacy that continues to inspire this country, and her newest immigrants like me.
Dr. King’s civil rights convictions were based upon a profound belief in the goodness of man and an undying faith in the power of American democracy. .
These truths give his speeches a lasting message, their words spoken with such fervor they will inspire us for generations to come.
This summer my family visited Washington DC. My eight year old son was impressed by the towering statue of his hero. Having learned about the Civil Rights leader at school, the memorial seemed to make history more meaningful for him.
When my children recount their school lessons and talk of King’s achievements, they talk as if these events happened in the ancient past, but truly it was only yesterday. He was born just a few short years before my father, and was shot when I was only three years old. This is recent history.
“Martin Luther King’s dream was the American Dream. His
quest is our quest: the ceaseless striving to live out our true
creed. Our history has been built on such dreams and labors.”
– President Bill Clinton.
I think it is very fitting that President Obama’s inauguration today falls on the day we honor Martin Luther King, Jr. 1997 is the only other year a presidential inauguration coincided with the King holiday.
John Lewis, Congressman for Georgia, worked alongside King during the civil rights struggle. His words ring true when reflecting upon today’s inauguration:
“If it hadn’t been for Martin Luther King Jr.,
there would be no Barack Obama as president.”
– John Lewis, Congressman
And so, as we reflect today, I pray that our President will lead this country inspired by the teachings and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Slán agus beannacht leat!
(Goodbye and blessings)
Irish American Mom