Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Today we commemorate the service and life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. After King’s death in 1968, 11 years passed before a bill was finally voted on in Congress that proposed a national holiday for Dr. King. A petition was drafted, having six million signatures, President Ronald Reagan finally signed the bill to designate the third Monday in January each year as Martin Luther King Jr.’s Day. That bill was signed on November 2, 1983, yet it took three more years until it was officially observed on January 20, 1986. Some states, such as Arizona and South Carolina, refused to observe the holiday. In fact, former Presidential candidate, Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) voted against the bill. Virginia, the state that I call home, only observed MLK Day alongside Confederate “heroes” like Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, calling the holiday, “Lee-Jackson-King Day.” It wasn’t until 2000 that Virginia actually devoted the day entirely to Dr. King. SMH
Nevertheless, some people have wondered what it would have been like if only Dr. King was alive to witness this historical event that will take place tomorrow. Some have even called it divine providence that the day that Dr. King dreamed of – where his “children” wouldn’t be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character has finally come into fruition.Tomorrow by noon, Barack Obama will be our 44th President and I can only imagine what his speech will be like. I’m pretty sure that he will reflect on Dr. King’s life and service to all men and women. Being a Reverend, Dr. King had a way with words, much like Obama does today. Here is one of Dr. King’s most famous speeches; not the “I Have A Dream” speech, but the last speech he gave, the night before his was assassinated. His words were so prophetic, especially near the end.
I’m pretty sure Dr. King will be looking over the moutaintops tomorrow, smiling down on what he helped create.