Monday, January 21, 2013

Honoring the Life & Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

On January 15, 1929, one of the greatest leaders our country has ever known was born, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  He was born in a time of racial segregation but dared to follow his dreams and became the leader of our modern civil rights movement. 

This year, Dr. King would have turned 84. He was assassinated the year before I was born...but the impact he had on our world is felt more than any other single person I can think of. He was a visionary that to this day has a profound impact on every person in this nation.  His life was far too short.

There are countless speeches and sermons that remind us of Dr. King’s passion and vision.  I, like many of you, have a favorite one. Dr. King said, "We refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt…"

For me, as a police officer, this is profound, and by his example we must:

Demand justice, first for the guilty to be punished
Demand that justice protect the innocent, and  
Demand that justice always help the victim.

We must make certain that we protect the rights of all people with the same vigor and determination as Dr. King did. You have my word that we will.

Today, approximately 2,000 people gathered to pay tribute and participate in a civic ceremony inside the Old Courthouse in Downtown.  In fitting homage afterwards, we marched from downtown to Powell Symphony Hall on Grand Avenue.

Despite the freezing temperatures, not one person complained because we each recognized what so many before us had sacrificed to bring us to where we are today.  It was fitting that at the same time we marched to honor Dr. King, President Barack Obama delivered his inaugural address from Washington D.C. as he begins his second term as President of the United States of America

On this historic day as President Obama spoke of the journey that lies ahead of us, I marched in unity with others from our great city.  With each step I thought of another quote from Dr. King, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter."

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