I was a young child in the 1960s but I still remember the stress that year brought to my family. In the tragic year of 1968, I was seven years old, and while Laugh-In was the rage on TV with my friends when it debuted in January, the Vietnam War was heating up and the Civil Rights movement was ripe throughout the country. President Lyndon Johnson announced to great surprise that he would not seek re-election and it was also the year we lost two leaders, Presidential candidate, Sen. Bobby Kennedy and of course, Martin Luther King. I think we forget how tumultuous a year that was for our nation.
On Monday, we celebrate the life of MLK in the midst of a community and a state that has little ethnic diversity. Yet, one of the greatest gifts a holiday can give us is a chance to reflect and take stock in the universal values we share. At Harold Martin School, it is a core belief among the adults and children that each individual has unique and significant value. It is important that every adult at HMS model respect so that our students can see that example and carry it forward. MLK was consistent in his message of equality at a time when that value was a faint concept in the minds of many. While the group that suffered the most during that time were African-Americans, if MLK was alive today (he would have been 83 years old this Sunday) I know he would have continued and likely broadened his message. He was only 39 when he died.
If you would like to commemorate the life of Martin Luther King and the values he stood for, I’ve posted information on three events happening Monday in the local area.
If you cannot attend an MLK Day event, take a few moments Monday to discuss the virtues of respect and equality with your kiddos.