Martin Luther King Jr. Day

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The third Monday in January is a federal holiday. To us, that means a day to catch up on z’s, or read a good book, or even go outside and goof around. The other day, I began to think. Christmas, Thanksgiving, and the Fourth of July are all federal holidays, and each one of them has a meaning. Obviously, Christmas is a religious thing, no matter how hard schools try to enforce “Happy Holidays” over “Merry Christmas.” Thanksgiving is supposed to remind us all to give thanks for what we have and seemingly always guilts families to drive or fly, to Aunt Martha’s house just to eat turkey and pumpkin pie with relatives that some of us rarely see. The Fourth of July, an easily cheerful holiday, is the birthday of our beloved country. This day is so commonly remembered that it does not even need a special name.

Most schools and businesses are closed on Monday, January 17, 2011, which makes it officially a day of celebration. Monday will commemorate the work of one man who was equipped with only knowledge, charisma, religion, and a dream, but still managed to change civil rights in America forever. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stood as a symbol of hope to all of those who felt oppressed in the short time of his life. He still stands as an influential figure to anyone of any race or gender who despises bigotry. We have made such advancements in civil rights, because of his peaceful protests, that in 2008, a black president, Barrack Obama, was elected. Never in King’s day, would a black man or woman dream of being elected president. Martin Luther King Jr. embraced peace and equality throughout his entire life. He held rallies and protests that gave the south a much needed reality check. They threw King and his followers in jail just because they were afraid of tolerance. This Martin Luther King Jr. Day we need to remember that true hatred and prejudice get us nowhere fast. As a society, intolerance will stunt our ability to grow in the future. This Monday, do not judge others “by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”