"[These girls] have something to say to every politician who has fed his constituents with the stale bread of hatred and the spoiled meat of racism. They have something to say to a federal government that has compromised with the undemocratic practices of Southern Dixiecrats and the blatant hypocrisy of right-wing Northern Republicans. They have something to say to every Negro who has passively accepted the evil system of segregation and who has stood on the sidelines in a mighty struggle for justice." ....
They say to us that we must be concerned not merely about who murdered them, but about the system, the way of life, the philosophy which produced the murderers. Their death says to us that we must work passionately and unrelentingly for the realization of the American dream. Martin Luther King, Jr. September 18, 1963, Eulogy for Martyred Children
Today is a day to celebrate the life of man who gave his in order to makes us more equals and secure in our nation. It is not time to live within a prism of what we want to see, but to work towards making what is just and moral. We must make our lives and other filled with a better reality. If we want less violence, we must be less violent. If we want equality we must treat each other equally. If we want to make the system better, we must participate in it in a way that does not forget about those that might fall between the cracks and slip from the reach of help. These are also things that the civil rights movement sought for. As the movement grew, It wasn't just
about racial equality, it was a movement to empower ALL Americans to achieve equality: socially, economically and mentally. It was to bring the forgotten in this nation back into the fold.
And this can happen to America, the richest nation in the world-and nothing’s wrong with that-this is America’s opportunity to help bridge the gulf between the haves and the have-nots. The question is whether America will do it. There is nothing new about poverty. What is new is that we now have the techniques and the resources to get rid of poverty. The real question is whether we have the will.
In a few weeks some of us are coming to Washington to see if the will is still alive or if it is alive in this nation. We are coming to Washington in a Poor People’s Campaign. Yes, we are going to bring the tired, the poor, the huddled masses. We are going to bring those who have known long years of hurt and neglect. We are going to bring those who have come to feel that life is a long and desolate corridor with no exit signs. We are going to bring children and adults and old people, people who have never seen a doctor or a dentist in their lives.
This was Dr. King's last major speech before he himself was felled by gun violence.
Nothing will change until the people move to change it. This is what should be done in honoring Dr. King. Civil rights was not just about race, it was about the measure of people and what we can do to lift everyone up. It was about dignity and honor. It was about life, liberty and being able to pursue happiness without fear of being persecuted by others.
Let us all strive to do our part today and everyday. Man was born into barbarism when killing his fellow man was a normal condition of existence. He became endowed with a conscience. And he has now reached the day when violence toward another human being must become as abhorrent as eating another's flesh.