10/17/11 — A tribute: Dr. Martin Luther King's dream relies on those who carry on mission

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A tribute: Dr. Martin Luther King's dream relies on those who carry on mission

Just repeating lines from a speech won't do it -- and no matter how many times you watch Dr. Martin Luther King's famous address in Washington, that is not enough either.

This weekend's unveiling of the memorial to the civil rights leader is a calling of sorts -- a reminder that continuing Dr. King's dream for all people requires more than just mouthing words.

It takes action, determination and a realization that the responsibility lies not just with officials and government leaders, but with the people themselves.

It is a reminder that one man's dream dies with him unless there are generations who remember it and continue his work.

And it is a promise that those who speak of that dream as a political weapon -- and those who seek to profit from that memory -- are not the ones who should be leading the work that is still left to do.

That means it is up to all of us.

In this busy world, too many times, young people do not really understand the sacrifices that were made so that they can live their lives and take advantage of the opportunities offered to them.

They know the name, but they do not know the stories. They know the history, but not the importance.

That is why a memorial like this serves a dual purpose -- to pay tribute to those who were there and to inspire those who will lead in the future.

It is how we honor the man, and answer his calling.

Published in Editorials on October 17, 2011 11:04 AM