This year’s Martin Luther King, Jr’s celebration will be like none other. It is amazing how key moments in history intersect with current events. With the inauguration of our first African-American president tomorrow, King’s dream of equality and freedom is becoming a reality. Who would have ever imagined that on the nation’s capital, where King gave his speech, the swearing in of the 44th president would be an African-American?
Today will also be special because thousands of Americans will be joining together to honor King’s legacy by having a day of service. You can check out the USAservice.org website here. On their website they state,
“In 1994, Congress transformed the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday into a national day of community service to further commemorate a man who lived his life in service to others. As a tribute to that legacy and the very real needs of our nation, the President-elect and Vice President-elect have launched a national organizing effort on the eve of their Inauguration to engage Americans in service. This national day of service will fall on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, January 19, 2009 and, unlike past calls to service, President-elect Obama is calling on all Americans to do more than just offer a single day of service to their cities, towns and neighborhoods. He is asking all of us to make an ongoing commitment to our communities. Never has it been more important to come together in shared purpose to tackle the common challenges we face.”
It should be an exciting day.
In memory of Martin Luther King, Jr’s, here are just a couple of my favorite quotes from him:
“The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state. It must be the guide and the critic of the state, and never its tool. If the church does not recapture its prophetic zeal, it will become an irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority.” (Martin Luther King, Jr., Strength to Love, 1963)
“If a man hasn’t discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live.” (Martin Luther King, Jr., speech, Detroit, Michigan, June 23, 1963.)
Here is probably one of the greatest speeches in the history of the world. It transformed a nation. It is worth watching all of it.