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The Voice - Student Newspaper

Martin Luther King Jr. Remembered with statue

Vanessa Jones
The Voice

One of Americans most respected humanitarians and civil rights leaders was Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King helped to lead the nation down a dark and painful road to freedom and equality, reshaping how America viewed its citizens. He displayed zeal and a desire to see reformation of tainted views of a great country come to pass and the liberties of all Americans protected regardless of ethnicity.
The leadership of King inspired many people of all races. His calm demeanor, forgiving nature and optimistic views made him an icon of peace. He was considered an eloquent, stimulating speaker, greatly influenced by his faith. He headed the civil rights movement which was designed to uphold the right to be free, respected as a human being and creates equal economic and social status among the American people.
King's solution to end racism, oppression, hate and violence was to become the exact opposite, and example of love and kindness. Understanding that hate breeds hate and violence breeds violence.
"Have we not come to such an impasse in the modern world that we must love our enemies-or else? The chain reaction of evil-hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars-must be broken, or else we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation? Using his faith principles coupled with non-violent tactics King implemented a new way of approaching America's distresses.
On October 16, 2011, in Washington D.C. on the National Wall nearly 50 years later, King's life and legacy is honored in a way the supersedes the street signs, buildings and even schools that have been named after him. A 30 foot stone statue is erected in line with the memorials of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington and it depicts the slain civil rights leader standing tall and strong while deep in thought.
Christine King Farris the eighty-year-old sister of Dr. King delivered a heartfelt speech on her brother's behalf and was followed by his children Martin Luther King III and Bernice King who also honored their mother Coretta Scott-King for continuing her husband's work.
President Barack Obama conveyed his deep appreciation in his speech and indicated that we still have a long way to go so let us continue in his work. Dr. King's memorial is the first African-American and non-president to be displayed.

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Content revised 6/5/12