Today is the birthday of civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a name that has become legendary and stands for so many great things. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is synonymous with freedom, human rights, peace, and equality. Happy Birthday, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
If still alive, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would have turned 83 today. It’s easy to imagine a white haired gentle hearted older version of Dr. King; continuing to share peace, love and wisdom. No doubt he would be sitting in the pulpit this morning, of Ebenezer Baptist Church, in Atlanta, Georgia, where his grandfather and father both were pastors. We can not applaud him personally and shake his hand today, but, we can take a moment to reflect on the great legacy that he left behind.
Today, I am thinking about how on January 15, 1929, someone laid this baby boy into the arms of Alberta Williams King, while his father, Pastor Martin Luther King, Sr. looked on. There was no way that she could have known that she was holding in her arms a future distinguished orator and ambassador of human rights and freedoms. The mother of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had no way of knowing just how much her child would change the world.
When his sister, Willie Christine, just a year older than him, played with young Martin, she had no way of knowing that she was playing with a legend that would live on in the hearts of so many. Even those who opposed him and his message, can’t deny that his name will forever in be in every history book across the United States and around the world. And when young Martin Luther King, Jr. played with his younger brother, Alfred Daniel, neither of them knew the path their lives would take in the fight for civil rights.
Happy Birthday, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. On this day, knowing all that you have contributed to this world and our nation, we stop and reflect. Your life sparked a civil rights movement across the nation, but, your death set the world on fire. Your dreams and aspirations for the relations between the races and need for equality have been kept alive over many decades, to say that your living, nor your death were in vain.
We celebrate your life, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., at the same time celebrating how far we have come as a nation. We have had our share of problems, but, we have managed to not allow the tragedies that engulf us to take us down to the abyss. The dream of Dr. King has in many ways manifested itself in the fact that we were able to elect the first black American President, Barak Obama. However, we still have a long ways to go, but, the road isn’t as long and rough as it was; we have covered much ground.
Thank you, Dr. King, for placing the spark in our hearts. For showing us that we can conquer the world with words of peace and love; rather with balled fists. For teaching us that turning the other cheek gives us the strength to stand a little longer. For leaving us with hope for a better world and the determination to work together to make it happen. Happy Birthday, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.