January 20, 2020
My dad didn’t go to college until after he married my mom and was starting a family. He was in his late 20’s and decided he needed to do something different, so he went to night school while working a full job and raising a family. He worked for a federal agency and, as he hoped, was promoted when he finally had that degree at the age of 31.
A few years later, the agency wanted him to get some more education and he was chosen to go to Syracuse University’s Maxwell Graduate School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and then do a tour through the agency’s national headquarters in Washington, D.C. Mother and Daddy packed up the Pontiac station wagon and moved us up there.
It was 1968.
We were living just outside of D.C. in Virginia when The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated. My 4th grade class was supposed to go into D.C. on a field trip the day after he was killed, but the trip was canceled. I remember Daddy taking me — just the two of us — into D.C. a few days later. It was after the turmoil in the city that happened right after the assassination. My young memory is still touched by the number of people mourning the death.
My father apparently wanted me to learn by seeing something that would continue to touch my heart — even over 50 years later as a grown man. He showed me, as I’ve shown my children, the spot where Dr. King gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. My family has been to the King Memorial that opened in 2011. I hope to take my granddaughter Effie to these important spots.
Today, we set aside time for all of us to remember Dr. King, a great man. We pause for us to learn from him yet again. And to take time to learn more.
So let’s march, pray, think, love and remember how important it is to dream of justice and what is right. Let’s work to do that. Let us be better.