Had he lived, Martin Luther King Jr. would be only 84 today. Sadly that is an age at which many of his contemporaries now enjoy being wise elders and grandparents. Instead, of course, he was assassinated—though his ideas and influence have only continued to live and grow since. It is a good day to remember the past and acknowledge both how far we’ve come and how much further we have to go.
Several years ago Liz and I were fortunate to visit both his home in Atlanta and, in Montgomery, his church. We also helped celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Southern Poverty Law Center which has built on and expanded much of the work Dr. King started. The week included time with Julian Bond and Morris Dees both of whom have long played key roles in the struggle for justice.
The Center’s Civil Rights Memorial, designed by Maya Lin, commemorates many of the martyrs who died in that struggle, including Dr. King. Putting my fingers in the waters and reading the names brought both tears and memories.
Today is a day to remember and, for me, to again look for at how I can continue to help the world be a more just place for all.