The MLK holiday we celebrate each January honors the life and legacy of America’s greatest champion of racial justice and equality. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. not only dreamed of a society free of racial discrimination, but also led a movement that achieved historic reforms to help make it a reality.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is an American federal holiday marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around King's birthday, January 15. This holiday celebrates the life and legacy of a man who brought hope and healing to America. We commemorate the values he taught us through his example of courage, truth, justice, compassion, dignity, humility, and service.
Dr. King endured harassment, threats, beatings, and even bombings. He went to jail 29 times to achieve freedom for others and paid the ultimate price for his leadership on April 4, 1968, when he was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. Celebrating Dr. King’s dream of a multiracial nation, nonviolence, unconditional love, tolerance and unity is an opportunity that is only possible because of King’s leadership and progress in the American Civil Rights Movement.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a day of celebration and remembrance, education and tribute, and above all a day of service. Dr. King once said that we all have to decide whether we “will walk in the light of creative altruism or the darkness of destructive selfishness. Life’s most persistent and nagging question,” he said, is “what are you doing for others?”
May we who follow Dr. King now, pledge to serve humanity, to serve those in our Kent School District community and carry forward his legacy.