WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) issued the following statement in recognition of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which will be commemorated on Monday, January 16, 2017:
“On Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, we pause to reflect on the legacy of a man who shaped one of our nation’s most important and enduring movements.
“Civil rights, he taught us, is not a fixed destination, but an evolving journey whose path we must walk together should we not get lost. To that end, Dr. King brought Americans together during one of the country’s most tumultuous and violent periods. He was effective and memorable because he made unity and brotherhood the central focus of his message. He was revered because he called for calm and nonviolence even as he and his followers were insulted and assaulted. He is remembered because he embodied the best of American values, and today his memory dares us to live up to them.
“Dr. King’s Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955, his march on the U.S. Capitol, his strategy of peaceful and civil disobedience in the face of systemic discrimination and abuse – these were the hallmarks of a true hero determined to enact change. Many of the advances we have made toward equality, we trace to him and his spirit.
“We owe Dr. King a promise to honor the sacrifices of the Civil Rights movement not only with a holiday, but with a steadfast commitment to continue walking the path of civil and equal rights together, no matter how difficult or exasperating. When we see storm clouds ahead or feel like forces want to pull us back to a darker time in our nation’s history, we must keep walking forward on that path of peace, together.
“Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is famous for having a dream. But what made him a force of history, what made him remarkable, was his unstoppable drive to bring that dream to life. Today I commit myself – and call on all Americans – to follow in his footsteps. I call on us to use this day not as a day of rest, but a day of action, of reflection, and of promise, wherein we recommit ourselves and our country to Dr. King’s ideals: equality, justice and respect for all people.”
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