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Rep. Man Lewis, D-Ga., attends the dedication ceremony because that the boy name Luther King Jr. National Memorial in Washington, D.C., Sunday, Oct. 16, 2011. Colin Powell, left, and also Secretary of education and learning Arne Duncan are likewise pictured. (Official White residence Photo by Pete Souza)
On respectable 28, 1963, the work of the in march on Washington, all of the platform speaker were invite to the White house to satisfy with President john F. Kennedy. A couple of months earlier I had actually made mine very first trip come the White House. I was only 23-years-old and additionally the brand-new chairman of the student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee. It was amazing. A week right into my new job i was top to the White home to accomplish President Kennedy.
I to be with five other good men, including Martin Luther King Jr., Roy Wilkins, James Farmer, and also Whitney Young, well-known as the huge Six leader of the movement. There were plenty of women that were important to our plans to march and many heroines that the movement, including Coretta Scott King, Fannie Lou Hamer, Dorothy Height, Ella Baker and also Diane Nash. However, together was customary in those times, none were in the room the day. We told chairman Kennedy the people could not wait any kind of longer. We were to plan to contact on thousands come march on Washington.
President Kennedy to be visibly concerned. He was sitting in the Oval Office in his rocking chair, and he began to rock a little an ext briskly. He was concerned about violence. He want to cool down climbing tensions, yet A. Philip Randolph, the founder the the Brotherhood the Pullman automobile Porters, the dean of our movement, and the visionary behind the march assured him this would certainly be a lawful, peaceful, non-violent march. Ns will never forget. Randolph told him, we could not wait any type of longer. “Mr. President, the said, “if us cool under any an ext we will certainly be in a deep freeze.”
After the largest march Washington had ever seen, the president stood in the door that his office relaxed and also beaming. That shook each hand and said, “You did a good job. Friend did a good job.” but when he acquired to martin Luther King Jr. That said, “And you had a dream.”
King’s aspirations for this nation were “deeply rooted in the American dream.” and also it is due to the fact that of his unwavering commitment to the reason of justice, the values of peace and non-violent activism, due to the fact that of his insistence top top the same dignity of all mankind that he has found his ar on the nationwide Mall. Young name Luther King Jr. Represents the an extremely best in America. It was his ethical voice that helped this nation turn the corner and lay under the burden of a dig injustice.
Thus that is fitting and so appropriate that we honor martin Luther King Jr. In what I prefer to call “the frontyard of America”. He need to be looked ~ above as among the co-founder of the brand-new America. He have to be looked upon as one of the founders of a nation much more prepared to fulfill its highest possible destiny. And also that is why the photo of this humble Baptist minister from Atlanta, Georgia, a guy who to be never elected to any kind of public office, deserve to be seen this particular day standing ~ above the nationwide Mall in between the monuments come two good presidents—Abraham Lincoln and also Thomas Jefferson.
We have come a great distance as a nation and as a people, however we still have a an excellent distance to go before we create what Dr. King referred to as the lover Community. I specify it together a society based on an easy justice that values the dignity and also the worth of every person being. The battle to develop this sort of community does not last because that one day, one week, or one year, that is the battle of a lifetime. Every of united state must proceed to carry out our component to help make this vision a reality.
President Obama is doing every he have the right to to assist build this feeling of community. In the bluster of media hype and also political rhetoric, the substantive job-related President Obama has done to turn our economy around, to assist everyday Americans throughout this time of jae won crisis, and also to put people ago to work has not gotten enough attention. In his humility this President has not trumpeted his success. He has actually kept his eyes concentrated on the difficulties at hand, trying to usage his power to execute what he believes is in the best interest the the American people.
Perhaps friend remember his need that we expand and also extend unemployment insurance to world who had been set off. Probably you heard about his loan change programs which have readily available relief to more than $2 million Americans who would have lost your homes. He added $7.6 billion to the Hardest Hit fund to assist homeowners in the most dire straits, and also $7 billion because that a regimen to stabilize areas blighted by the foreclosure crisis. These resources have been invaluable to my district in Atlanta, one of the hardest fight in the country. Recently, the White house released a report, called Creating Pathways come Opportunity, that highlights the numerous initiatives this president has dealt with hard come execute which strengthen the economic climate while protecting the most breakable Americans.
With the help of a autonomous Congress, university students currently have accessibility to affordable health care until they space 26. The chairman doubled their Pell approve funding and has spreading 17 taxation cuts to totally free small businesses to be the engine of expansion they had constantly been. Chairman Obama is do the efforts to perform his component to help build a lover Community. We have a an excellent President in our middle who is do the efforts to do the sort of great that will certainly last. And if each of united state will execute our part to respect person dignity, to speak up and also speak the end non-violently because that the reason of justice climate we deserve to all assist build the beloved Community, a country and a world culture at tranquility with itself.
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CongressmanJohn Lewis is the U.S. Representative because that Georgia's 5th congressional district and also recipient the the 2010 Presidential Medal of Freedom.