Published Sunday, January 13, 2013

MLK Jr. celebration – 50 years following 'I have a dream'

Editorial

This weekend our community held its annual salute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the most prominent civil rights leaders in history who was gunned down by an assassin in a Memphis motel in 1968.

In Newnan the annual MLK Jr. memorial program was held Friday evening. The annual parade, barbecue and other events were held Saturday. Next Monday is the national holiday celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and events will be taking place in Atlanta and other places across our nation to honor and remember this civil rights giant during the next week.

This year is also another special anniversary in the life and legacy of MLK Jr. Fifty years ago, in 1963, King delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Monument in Washington, D.C. That speech is one of the more quoted speeches in history.

Today, almost 50 years from the date of the speech (Aug. 28, 1963), the words of King can serve as a reminder of where we were then, how far we have come and how much work we still have to do as a nation and a people to provide equal rights for all.

Here is the ending excerpt from King’s great speech:

“This is our hope. This is the faith with which I return to the South. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

“This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with a new meaning, “My country, ‘tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.”

God bless America as we celebrate the life and the legacy of this great man.

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