Thank you, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Thank You
Dennis L. Smith
Ever hear this question: "Who is this holiday for anyway?" I offer this.
First of all, "Ask not for whom the bell tolls ... it tolls for thee." If you are horrified by the news of the latest atrocities coming from around this weary Earth, most recently from Serbia and Yugoslavia, this holiday is for you. Because of Dr. Martin Luther King's courageous support of a weary woman on a bus and his skill in articulating an issue and coalescing a cause, the hideous news of pub bombings, mass executions, bulldozing homes and attacks on school buses is from far away places. And if you live in the midst of the evil that thrives on fear and ignorance and destroys the righteous, take heart from Martin Luther King, Junior's dream:
[The following paragraphs are excerpted from speech delivered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., on August 28, 1963.]
"This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. 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, this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with 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.'' And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.
"And when this happens, when we allow freedom to 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 A-mighty, We are free at last.'"
I'm told that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was breastfed as an infant. That's easy to believe. He demonstrated that superior intellect and self confidence that we know breastfeeding encourages. And to follow the dangerous loving path he took, he had to draw on the inner strength that we are more likely to find in children of loving and breastfeeding mothers. Whether because of this or by heavenly inspiration, he came forward and helped lead the United States and Western civilization back from a dangerous path of insensitivity ... of inhumanity ... that even the evil consequences of World War II had been unable to stem.
The United States changed direction in the sixties. And, as I'm old enough to remember my parents' stories and attitudes from the past, I see in the nineties, though still imperfect, how much better off we are. Thank you Dr. Martin Luther King, for what you've given me.
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