Martin Luther King, Jr. Day gives us a day to remember his life and his lessons for our country, for our politics, and for each of us. Rev. Dr. King challenged our country to live up to the promise it made in our founding documents and in our faiths.
In his "I Have a Dream" speech he challenged us to live up to the promises made by the Founders:
In a sense we have come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
And he dared to challenge us to build a society that closer matched that promise:
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”
This should be a reminder that America's founding promises are things that we need to strive for every day. We cannot take for granted that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are preserved. We must fight for these. And we must remember our principles, our faith, and the value and dignity of every individual and put those at the center of our attempt to improve our society.
Dr. King ends this speech by urging all Americans to "let freedom ring" across our country by embracing the dignity and equality of all and live up to the promise of our country and our God. Only then we will be "free at last." We must recognize that there will always be more work to do in so many forms until freedom can indeed ring across our country.
May each of us have Dr. King's courage in fighting for freedom across our land.
Chairman, Young Republican National Federation