Today is a federal holiday honoring the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and it is a day that provides an ideal opportunity to renew our commitment to citizenship through service to others and building a stronger community.
We believe that such a pledge is a fitting way to pay tribute to Dr. King, who, during his lifetime, called on Americans to bridge their differences, to recognize and support the struggle for justice and equality for all and to work to build a better and brighter future for the nation.
Dr. King was the primary spokesman for nonviolent activism in the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, and although he is remembered for many accomplishments, his chief legacy was progress on civil rights.
He successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law and set an example that encouraged others to continue the struggle for racial equality long after his death from an assassin’s bullet in 1968.
Dr. King’s life was filled with controversy, and he remains a controversial figure today, but we believe that his accomplishments provide an excellent example of what is possible through faith, hard work and determination.
Dr. King’s legacy tells us that if we believe in ourselves, we can find solutions to the problems that continue to plague our society. If we reach out to others, we can help bring an end to violence, inadequacies in education and health care and help build a better future for our children and grandchildren.
We believe that the primary lesson of Dr. King’s life and work is that each of us must step forward, address the challenges that confront us and fight the good fight — we can’t wait for someone else to solve our problems for us.
Today, we ask that you reach out to others, to work to find an end to hunger, homelessness and poverty, to love your neighbor as yourself.
We don’t believe that it’s too much to ask that this nation be a place where all people are equal and free to live without fear.
It is within our power to bring about a better world. That was a message that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stressed many times during his lifetime, and it is a message that bears repeating today.
Local events celebrating the legacy of Dr. King are scheduled to continue at 11 a.m. today with a free flag football game for youth on the MLK Jr. Recreation Center fields. At 4 p.m., the community is invited to meet at the University of North Texas Union Building, 1155 Union Circle, for a rally and march to Fred Moore Park to meet additional community members at 5 p.m. The march will continue to MLK Jr. Recreation Center, where the celebration will continue with the theme “Sowing the Seeds of Service.”
Dinner and refreshments will be provided by the Denton Chapter NAACP and local community churches.
Also today, the Denton Faith Alliance will be leading a community service project at the Fred Moore Day Nursery School starting at 9 a.m. Volunteers are invited to help with tasks at the school, and the service day will end at noon.
The alliance also is working to raise $5,000 to buy groundcover for the playground and new equipment and supplies for the school. Donations can be made directly to the Fred Moore Day Nursery School, 821 Cross Timber St., Denton, TX 76205.