Observance for Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday

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Photo: Epic Cafe wall in Tucson with Martin Luther King, Jr message for freedom

Aleksandra Dukovska

American citizens today will serve to the community as part of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday. Some of them will mark this holiday at the food banks engaged with the food packaging and others will do other works to serve to the community.

The idea for volunteerism, cooperation and anti-violence initiative was brought in 1994 when  Martin Luther King’s wife Coretta Scot King asked for more focus on his legacy.

It was president Ronald Reagan who signed and established Martin Luther King Holiday in 1983. The first observance was in 1986. Arizona celebrated, then stopped the observance and finally decided to mark the Holiday in 1992.

The remembrance of Martin Luther King unfolds evocation of his leadership stile that last beyond a life time. He was brave and he wanted to bring changes in the American society and above all – equal racial opportunities. He wanted to embrace diversity to the promise land.

The day before he was assassinated he preached: “I may not get there with you. I want you to know tonight that we, as a people, will get to the promised land.” His legacy is in the hands of those who follow and of those who shape the future of the USA.

One bond for a comparison between Martin Luther King, Jr.and president Barack Obama is the race. Even though Obama is leading in the post-racial America, the issue of race has been a major subtext of most United States history.

It was a burden from the slavery time that led to the Civil War, inspired civil right movements and has been an important issue for Obama presidency.

Racial politics is no new topic for Obama. In his memoir book, Dreams from my Father, Obama is searching for his racial identity. The race is not the only one bond   that we can use to compare Martin Luther King, Jr and Barack Obama.

No matter who wrote their speeches, both share a vision for change in America. We looked at the last week Obama speech after Tucson tragedy. News papers and their columnist tried to analyze that speech and to conclude about shared values.

“Throughout Mr. Obama’s career, he has reviewed America and its leadership from an outsider’s stance, from that of an intellectual relatively new to public life. His sound was all faculty lounge”, said Peggy Noonan in her column Obama Rises to the Challenge in the Wall Street Journal. Noonan suggested that in his speech Obama celebrated American values that people recognize in themselves: instinctive courage, idealism, willingness to take the initiative.

Those are the values we can learn as Hubert Humphrey Fellows during our stay in the USA.