Obama announces MLK Day as National Service Day

The Southerner

By Emma Aberle-Grasse

Martin Luther King changed the history of our country with his hope for humanity. Through tremendous injustice and hate, King promoted the justice and love he believed in.  To acknowledge and honor him, the United States devotes Jan. 16 to this great leader. Congress officially named Martin Luther King Day a national day of service in 1994, led by the Corporation for National and Community Service.

Although King is appropriately remembered and respected, his overall message sometimes gets lost. Yes, his major focus was fighting for the civil rights of African Americans in the United States, but he also spoke out against the Vietnam War, the rights of women and peace and justice for everyone. King fought against the injustices of his time and dreamt for the continuation of that fight. When King wrote “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” in his letter from Birmingham jail, he was speaking of all injustices. We have to remember to fight against the injustices today, against gays and lesbians and against the poor and homeless.

In Dr King’s famous “Drum Major” sermon, he expresses that we don’t need everyone to be big, courageous leaders; we need supportive and loving community members. I think community service is an important way to honor Dr King. If we all take one day out of the year to remember that there is still injustice happening in our country and commit to giving our service we can make dreams such as Dr King’s come true.

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