January 18, 2015

Lujan Statement Honoring the Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Today we honor a man whose message of equality and nonviolence propelled a movement that changed our nation, and whose message we must continue to heed. Dr. Martin Luther King spoke of a Beloved Community - a community that is founded on love, respect, and hope; a community that rejects darkness and discrimination, hate and racism, poverty and hunger.

"While there are aspects of Dr. King's Beloved Community that we see in our own communities, there is still much work to fully live up to his vision, to ensure that no child goes to bed hungry, that no individual is denied his or her basic human rights, and that every person has the opportunity to live up to his or her God-given potential.

"At times it may feel that this is no easy task; that the Promised Land is still too far in the distance, that the morning in America that was promised has still not woken. That is why it is meaningful that all across America people are remembering the enduring legacy of Dr. King.

"Each day let us ask ourselves, what can we do in our own life to move us one step closer to Dr. King's dream? We all have a role to play. We all have something to offer. Dr. King said, ‘Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree toserve. You only need a heart.'

"President Lyndon Johnson on August 6, 1965, in the presence of Dr. King, said, ‘the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustice and destroying the terrible walls which imprison men because they are different from other men,' is the right to vote.

"When we see injustice and feel injustice we must speak out and stand up and don't let injustice fall on deaf ears or blind eyes. This year we are remembering the 50thanniversary of the march toward justice, the march from Selma, Alabama. Let us embody that spirit to stand with our brothers and sisters that came before us, to tear down those terrible walls, and break down injustice in every form."

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