Thursday, August 29, 2013

All Must Listen!

President Obama’s speech at the 50th anniversary celebration of Martin Luther King Jr’s brilliant oration during the historic march on Washington should be heard by every American – by red and blue and everything in between or outside of those colors of the political spectrum.
by Charlie Leck

We are an enormously strong and wealthy nation. We have the potential to make dreams come true – even the big, big dreams of Martin Luther King, Jr.. We’ve made progress. We’ve made some enormous gains, but the dream still lingers, waiting for real fulfillment.

Our president knew, as he rose to speak at the 50th anniversary celebration of the March on Washington and one of the greatest speeches of all time, that he should not attempt to match the King. There could be no matching that speech. So the president went quietly through a speech that praised those who made their way to Washington fifty years ago and lauded what they began then. However, he pointed out that the march is not over, the journey is not complete and the goals have not been reached. There is still a ways to go.

But in this great, proud and wealthy nation, he said, it is possible to accomplish all that King dreamed of – if we really want to, and if men and women can open their hearts to King’s spirit and guidance.

In case you didn’t hear it, here’s how the President so powerfully concluded his words…

“America, I know the road will be long, but I know we can get there. Yes, we will stumble, but I know we'll get back up. That's how a movement happens. That's how history bends. That's how, when somebody is faint of heart, somebody else brings them along and says, come on, we're marching.
“There's a reason why so many who marched that day and in the days to come were young, for the young are unconstrained by habits of fear, unconstrained by the conventions of what is. They dared to dream different and to imagine something better. And I am convinced that same imagination, the same hunger of purpose serves in this generation.
“We might not face the same dangers as 1963, but the fierce urgency of now remains. We may never duplicate the swelling crowds and dazzling processions of that day so long ago, no one can match King's brilliance, but the same flames that lit the heart of all who are willing to take a first step for justice, I know that flame remains.
“That tireless teacher who gets to class early and stays late and dips into her own pocket to buy supplies because she believes that every child is her charge -- she's marching. That successful businessman who doesn't have to, but pays his workers a fair wage and then offers a shot to a man, maybe an ex-con, who's down on his luck -- he's marching.
“The mother who pours her love into her daughter so that she grows up with the confidence to walk through the same doors as anybody's son -- she's marching. The father who realizes the most important job he'll ever have is raising his boy right, even if he didn't have a father, especially if he didn't have a father at home -- he's marching. The battle-scarred veterans who devote themselves not only to helping their fellow warriors stand again and walk again and run again, but to keep serving their country when they come home -- they are marching. Everyone who realizes what those glorious patriots knew on that day, that change does not come from Washington but to Washington, that change has always been built on our willingness, we, the people, to take on the mantle of citizenship -- you are marching.
“And that's the lesson of our past, that's the promise of tomorrow, that in the face of impossible odds, people who love their country can change it. And when millions of Americans of every race and every region, every faith and every station can join together in a spirit of brotherhood, then those mountains will be made low, and those rough places will be made plain, and those crooked places, they straighten out towards grace, and we will vindicate the faith of those who sacrificed so much and live up to the true meaning of our creed as one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

It was a remarkable and wonderful day – a grand celebration – and it brought back so many memories of the time.

Republicans too busy to attend…
The Republican Party claims to be committed to winning bigger among minority groups in the future, yet, according to a report in the Washington Post, none of the invited Republican dignitaries could make the big celebration on the Mall yesterday. Though many were invited they declined because they were busy with other things or they were ill. Oh, my!

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