Today is the day that our nation celebrates and remembers the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King was born January 15, 1929 and died at the hands of an assassin’s bullet on April 4, 1968 at the age of 39. He gave his energy to the civil rights movement. Between 1957 and 1968, King reportedly traveled over 6 million miles, gave over 2,500 speeches, wrote five books and authored countless articles.
In 1977 President Jimmy Carter posthumously awarded Dr. King the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Martin Luther King, Jr. is the only non-president to have a memorial on the National Mall and a national holiday in his honor. Serving as reminders of the man and his non-violent demonstrations, over 900 streets in the USA are named for Martin Luther King, Jr.
King was not a perfect man, but he stood tall and demanded equal treatment, no matter what the cost. He said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”
Dr. King’s quotes are numerous and inspiring. I have chosen a few to include: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, What are you doing for others.” ; “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” ; “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.” ; and my favorite quote of all, “The time is always right to do what is right.”
In today’s troubled world, the non-violent teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. are as relevant today as they were over 50 years ago. Maybe one day, the citizens of our world “…will be able to sit together at the table of brotherhood.”