On Sunday, the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial was dedicated. The monument to him rests among those of presidents on the Washington Mall. In looking at all the photos and articles about the day, this one below made me think of things in a different way. Take a look at the article and then look online to see all the quotes from MLK Jr. that line his memorial and remind us all that his work has come far, but is far from over. When we look at our families, our friends, our nation and our world, let us remember that our words have the power to heal, hurt, change and empower. “From King, I learned that most of us commit more violence with our words than with our fists, and if words are weapons, let them be weapons used for that which is good and elevates.”
The King Memorial should be understood as a tribute to the enduring power of words. There’s almost a straight line between it and the Jefferson and Lincoln memorials because the designers wanted to create what they called a visual “line of leadership.” But it’s also a literary line of leadership because few American leaders have shaped their nation and the world with their words as did Jefferson from the 18th century, Lincoln from the 19th century and King from the 20th century, each in a time of crisis.
Jefferson’s “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” was the ideal that nurtured those of Lincoln and King and shaped their work and words. Although the statue of King looks away from the Jefferson Memorial, the truth is that King was always looking toward Jefferson and his words and his fight to make them real for all is why he lived and why he died. But what is he looking at? Those who make the pilgrimage to this magnificent memorial to this hewer of hope, drum major for justice and tribune of nonviolence can sit and think about it. Then, they can rise up and use his blueprint to help get us there.”
excerpt from *MLK’s quotes on and around the memorial stir emotions*
By Cary Clack / Express-News
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