Sunday, January 15, 2006

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, 'It's not the length of your life, it's the quality of your life that matters.' The assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a tragedy on so many levels that it's hard to imagine the true impact his death had on our society. We can say simply that he was a man whose life changed the world. Dr. King was one of the greatest statesmen our country ever produced, bar none. His vision, dignity and courage was without equal. His life and then his death were turning points for all of us. I remember the day he was murdered. My parents were upset and watching the news. I was very young and didn't really understand what was happening, but watched with them. I remember my parents saying that this was a horrible tragedy. I remember them saying the repercussions of his death would be felt for years to come. My parents acted pretty much the same way they had acted with President Kennedy had been assassinated. Because of the reaction to his assassination in my home, I expected the same reaction as I had seen after the assassination of President Kennedy. It was very confusing to me as a child because I heard my parents and then heard other people who were actually saying it was a good thing. The dignified and peaceful demonstrations of the early Civil Rights Movement transitioned into violent, bloody events. Although a number of people stepped up to fill Dr. King's shoes, no one seemed able to provide the leadership and vision and power he had provided. In retrospect, it would appear that he had been born for this purpose - to lead the Civil Rights Movement. As we celebrate his birthday, I think it's important to remember who he was and that his life was dedicated to freeing a people, uniting a nation and basically saving us all from ourselves. I believe he knew he'd be killed. It's so ironic his 'I've been to the Mountain Top' speech was given the night before he was murdered. He was willing to die for what he believed. He was willing to die for his country, black and white together. He made the statement one time that history had claimed him. There can be no doubt that he was the right man at the right time in history.
Dr. and Mrs. King celebrating his birthday.
An excellent post on Dr. King can be found at Daddys Roses