Martin Luther King Day


Portrait of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. By Betsy G. Reyneau; Donated Collections; Record Group 200; National Archives and Records Administration

Presidential Proclamation — Martin Luther King, Jr., Federal Holiday, 2013

MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR., FEDERAL HOLIDAY, 2013

- – – – – – -

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

At a time of deep division nearly 50 years ago, a booming voice for justice rang out across the National Mall, reverberated around our country, and sent ripples throughout the world. Speaking to thousands upon thousands rallying for jobs and freedom, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech, challenging America to take up the worthy task of perfecting our Union. Today, we celebrate a man whose clarion call stirred our Nation to bridge our differences, and whose legacy still drives us to bend the arc of the moral universe toward justice. By words and example, Dr. King reminded us that “Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle.” Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, he mobilized multitudes of men and women to take on a struggle for justice and equality. They braved billy clubs and bomb threats, dogs and fire hoses. For their courage and sacrifice, they earned our country’s everlasting gratitude. A half-century later, the march of progress has brought us closer than ever to achieving Dr. King’s dream, but our work is not yet done. Too many young people still grow up in forgotten neighborhoods with persistent violence, underfunded schools, and inadequate health care, holding little hope and few prospects for the future. Too many Americans are denied the full equality and opportunity guaranteed by our founding documents. Today, Dr. King’s struggle reminds us that while change can sometimes seem impossible, if we maintain our faith in ourselves and in the possibilities of this Nation, there is no challenge we cannot surmount. Every year, Americans mark this day by answering Dr. King’s call to service. In his memory, let us recall his teaching that “we are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” In keeping with Dr. King’s example, let us embrace the belief that our destiny is shared, accept our obligations to each other and to future generations, and strengthen the bonds that hold together the most diverse Nation on earth. NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 21, 2013, as the Martin Luther King, Jr., Federal Holiday. I encourage all Americans to observe this day with appropriate civic, community, and service projects in honor of Dr. King and to visit www.MLKDay.gov to find Martin Luther King, Jr., Day of Service projects across our country. IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this eighteenth day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.

BARACK OBAMA

Well, I guess this makes it official …

I have always found much to admire about Martin Luther King, Jr., even while aware of his very human failings.  

The man inspired millions with his words, his courage, and his vision for what this country could be.  We are still trying to live into the America that Martin Luther King, Jr. called us to be and I, for one, am glad we are still trying to make the journey.

I’m spending the day with family and tonight will take part in an event at our church commemorating the memory of this outstanding man in words, song, and art.

What are you doing to mark the occasion?

Taking a day to remember and reflect in the Heartland ….

John

About these ads

2 thoughts on “Martin Luther King Day

  1. Thank you for recommending my article “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream” to your readers. I found your article to be rather thought provoking. “The march of Progress” has been detrimental to our nation. Our nation is farther from equality, defined by our Constitution, than we were those 50 years ago…

    Like

    • Thanks for commenting. Yes, in some ways we are less equal. I do see hope when we at least have the conversations around privilege and equality. As I grew up, these were not topics for debate or discussion, just “the way the world is”. That mentality is less prevalent, at least in my experience.

      John

      Like

Comments are closed.