Today we commemorate and honor the life and legacy of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968). We have been doing this on an annual basis since 1971, and this year it is of the utmost importance that we do so. Yes, it is a holiday and most of us are enjoying a rare three-day weekend with family and friends. But it is critical that we remember Reverend King and what he stood for. Let his wisdom and words guide us as this country enters a period of uncertainty when our people seem more divided than ever before in recent history.
Reverend King reminded us that we should never be silent . . . that we should stand up for what we believe in and speak out against injustice in every guise. "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." As we observe the transition of power in Washington this week, we should not look at it as the end of what was good, but as a clarion call to rise up and speak out for what we believe in. We will not be intimidated. "In the end," Reverend King warned, "we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." Don’t let this happen!
Fifty years ago this country appeared to be coming apart at the seams. Our cities were burning and we were divided over a war so many of us opposed. It was a time when some of us found our own voices for the first time and finally stood up to say we would not be dictated to. We fought to take our country back and put it on a path on which we could all enjoys peace and the pursuit of happiness. Today we find ourselves divided again. It is time to speak out again. Do not be silent. Let your voice be heard. "History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people," Reverend King told us a half century ago. Words of wisdom we should never forget.
So stand up, speak your mind, and let your voice ring out loud and clear!
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