Amidst the dramatics of the after Christmas season and the beginnings of a new year, we tend to forget about an important holiday that doesn’t require gifts (and inevitably, returns). This holiday focuses on an incredible time in our country’s history, a time when people began to finally see each other for who they really were, instead of judging them by the color of their skin.
On November 2, 1983 at the White House Rose Garden, President Ronald Reagan signed a bill commemorating one of our country’s most prominent activists and leader of the Civil Rights Movement. This bill stated that each year on the third Monday of January, the federal holiday Martin Luther King, Jr. Day would be celebrated in order to honor the influential Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
In middle schools around the country Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is usually celebrated by having our students learn about the work of Dr. King as well as his fight against racial segregation in our country. Unfortunately, as adults we are inclined to dismiss holidays like this because they are not plastered all over Macy’s or sung about on the radio. However, these holidays are the most crucial. Holidays like Martin Luther King, Jr. Day help us remember how important racial equality is, and how desperately we must try to live out Dr. King’s message that all men are created equal.
We live in a world filled with hate and violence and this can sometimes make us forget the importance of standing by and supporting one another, regardless of our backgrounds or nationalities. However, amongst this hate and violence, there is also love and peace. Martin Luther King, Jr. saw this love and peace despite the difficult situation at hand, and worked for the freedom that we are promised as Americans. So this January 16th, let us remember Dr. King’s struggle against racism and make it our own. Let us never forget that, "We must learn to live together as brothers or we will perish as fools."
Celebrate with the community in St. Louis at the MLK Service Event.