Today is a day to reflect on an amazing man – Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Had he not been murdered, he would have turned 83 this year. President Barack Obama plans to mark the day with a service project at the Browne Education Campus in Washington first thing in the morning. In the evening, the first couple will be at the Let Freedom Ring Celebration at the Kennedy Center.
This federal holiday was first observed in 1986. Then, in 1994 Congress also called it a national day of service.
Last night, members of King’s family stood at the 30 foot statue of him in Washington and sang “Happy Birthday” at a ceremony. Park rangers placed wreaths at the site as well.
As Martin Luther King III said,
“We’re celebrating the best of what we are, but also what we must become, knowing that we’ve not arrived there yet.”
Carrying on the Mission
As Martin Luther King III continued, he said that on his father’s birthday, January 15 in 1968 King was planning a “poor people’s campaign.”
As he said, “He did not live to see that come to fruition, and so, 44 years later, we’re still challenging our nation, particularly in light of the fact that there’s so much poverty rampant in this nation.”
While controversy has recently surrounded a quote on the King monument, the family joined together in solidarity around it yesterday, remembering the man and the mission that he left for so many to complete.