Monday, January 19, 2009

Realizing The Dream

Realizing The Dream

Talk about sweet serendipity.

Today, we honor the memory of Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with the late, slain leader's eponymous national holiday.

Tomorrow, the nation will come together once again in one of our most quintessential and cherished of American phenomena as we witness the peaceful transfer of the power of the U.S. Presidency. Only on this distinguished occasion, the day captures the dream of Martin Luther King, Jr. with the inauguration of Barack Obama as our 44th President.

It's quite likely that tomorrow would not have been possible, at least not so soon, had it not been for the valiant struggle as epitomized by the man we honor today.

In his landmark 1963 speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial -- not far from where a new memorial is being erected in his honor -- Dr. King dared to dream what had sadly seemed impossibly out of reach:
I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.
As a new CNN poll seems to indicate, America is on the threshold of a new day. Our nation has grown dramatically, not just over the last 45 years since that speech was delivered, but incredibly just over the last year. With the inauguration of President-Elect Obama, grown black men and black women are joining hands with grown white men and white women, along with men and women, boys and girls, of every color of the spectrum, as sisters and brothers.

While it's undeniable that there's still essential work to be done to further fortify the bridge that crosses our racial divide, we can rejoice that a strong bridge has been built in the first place, and it's been built on a sturdy foundation of hope and freedom.

One can only wonder just how proud Dr. King would have been of his country.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

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At 19 January, 2009, Blogger Esther said...

What an amazing day to think about how far we've come in this country. And what a brilliant piece of oratory. Those words still have the power to inspire. I was just listening to an interview with Rep. John Lewis and he talked about how when he was growing up in Alabama, African-Americans couldn't even register to vote. You're right, tomorrow wouldn't be possible if it weren't for people like Dr. King and John Lewis and countless others. It's humbling to think about how much faith they had in this country and its ideals, even when this country had so little faith in them.


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