Sunday, January 18, 2009
The Dream Lives On
If his life hadn't come to a tragic end in 1968, Martin Luther King, Jr. would now be 80 years old. As we take today to celebrate the life and life's work of this iconic civil rights leader, it's worth noting his inexorable connection to Washington, DC. DC is of course the city where Dr. King gave his stirring "I Have a Dream" speech. Standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington in 1963, he electrified the crowd of thousands with his words of hope for a more equal future. Visitors to the memorial can see an etching in the stone at the exact spot where he stood and looked out at the crowd. If you ever find yourself at the Lincoln Memorial, take a moment to find that spot, stand there, and look out across the reflecting pool towards the Washington Monument and the Capitol. As you take in the amazing view, you'll begin to think about what it must have felt like to be there on that day in 1963. A lot of tourists, and I imagine even local residents, overlook the words that have been written in marble at Lincoln's front door. It's a shame: the stone marker dedicated to Dr. King might not be the biggest, most impressive sight in DC, but it is undoubtedly one of the most inspiring.