About a year ago, I visited the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in West Potomac Park near the National Mall in Washington D.C. I remember standing there moved to tears as I walked through the memorial.
The monument of Dr. King, called The Stone of Hope, is very impressive, standing at 30 feet. Although the design and detail are remarkable, I found the crescent-shaped wall inscribed with many of his quotes to be breathtaking.
Can you imagine 450 feet of granite filled with some of the most powerful words in history? I walked alongside the granite wall feeling as if I were taking a step back through history, my history. From all of the videos I’ve seen and recordings I’ve heard, I imagined him speaking the words as I read them. I could hear every note of his down-home Baptist preaching style of speaking reverberating off the walls of my mind. I could hear every piercing and poignant word as he sparked intellectual thought and fiery emotion.
Although we reflect on him today, let’s not lose sight that the fight for justice and human rights is a daily battle. Although he spoke and wrote these words over fifty years ago, they still ring true today. What a haunting thought that even after fifty years, we are still here in the midst of the same racist, sexist, and phobic thoughts and actions that continue to cripple our nation. We forget that change is not a one and done. It takes continual attention and care from us all. No matter how much we think we may have accomplished, we cannot afford to become complacent.
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
Keep speaking out.
Keep marching forward.
Keep fighting on.