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Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Jan 19, 2015 | Blog

As we mark Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we’re reminded of a man who sacrificed all to help lead us toward a more perfect union. This holiday is meant to honor that legacy not by being a day off, but by being a day on – a day of reflection and service to our communities and our country.

That’s because Martin Luther King Jr. was a man not just of great words, but of great actions; a man who labored tirelessly to expand the boundaries of freedom and opportunity. Through peace, unity and constructive dialogue, Dr. King wielded America’s strengths to confront her weaknesses.

The result has been an American Dream applicable to more people than ever before. Even so, the work of Dr. King remains unfinished today. The American Dream continues to elude too many of our people – Americans of all backgrounds. And the vestiges of racial discrimination still exist.

Over this past year, we have seen tragic events in several communities result in anguish and frustration among our people. While these occurrences sometimes feel like grave setbacks, Dr. King’s legacy reminds us that we can turn even the most painful tragedies into catalysts for progress.

Today, our generation, like those before us, has the chance to make historic strides toward equality of opportunity, both economic and social. To do so, we must look to Dr. King’s example. We must start with what unites us.

Americans are a unique and special people. We are the descendants of pilgrims and immigrants; of slaves and refugees. In our veins flows the blood of men and women who refused to accept that their futures would be determined by their pasts.

In this country, a collection of people of every race, of every tongue, of every religion known to man, somehow did what had not been done before over thousands of years of human history: they came together to build one nation under God.

Ours is not a story of perfection, it is a story of progress – of sometimes slow but always steady progress toward a more perfect union. That is our past, thanks in part to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. But I believe it is also our future.

So on this day of service and remembrance, I want to thank everyone who is honoring Dr. King’s legacy of service to our nation. Thank you for working together today, and every day, to advocate for an America of justice and opportunity for all.