Focus on the message

I wish my son had school today.  And it's not just because I have to work.  I wish he had school today where they could focus on what today is.  Who Martin Luther King was, what was his message and why it's important to continue on the path for equality for ALL.  I have a fear that as this "holiday" gets older (after all it was only 31 years ago that President Reagan signed a bill creating a federal holiday which was not officially observed in all 50 states until 2000) it was become just another vacation day or day where you can find a great sale at the local store.  (As it seems to be the case with "President's Day" which no longer seems to honor George Washington or Abraham Lincoln or any accomplishment of any of the men who have been President of the United States.)

I want my son to know that there was a time when black and white could not go to school together.  (A concept he seems to find silly.  He is right.  It is ridiculous).  I want my son to know why it is so important that we treat each other equally be we man or woman, black or white, etc.  

If we are to have a holiday that celebrates Martin Luther King Jr.; let's focus on his message.  Focus on the dream that he had and to continue to make that dream a reality throughout the world.  And to not let that dream just be about black and white, but about all colors, religions and backgrounds.

For me the most powerful passage of the speech is not the one that is perhaps best known, but this:  

And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.
Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.
Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.
Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.
But not only that:
Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.
From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:
                Free at last! Free at last!
                Thank God Almighty, we are free at last.

Let's not let this day of remembrance turn into one of just a three day weekend, but one where we remember that we are ALL God's Children.  

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