BALTIMORE, Md. — U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), issued the following statement in recognition of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which is commemorated on Monday, January 19, 2015:
“A true patriot, symbolic of the highest ideals of American and human virtue, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has rightfully been honored with a federal holiday for the last 25 years. Dr. King was famous for having a dream, but what made him remarkable was his drive towards making his dream into a reality, for which he ultimately gave his life. The lessons in Dr. King’s sermons and actions are timeless.
“The ideals behind the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott, the call for unity scrawled in the margins of a newspaper in a Birmingham jail, and the dream so exquisitely articulated in our Nation’s Capital have not faded with time. In the face of organized – and at times violent resistance to his message – Dr. King inspired untold numbers of people of every color skin, young and old, to join him in a nonviolent fight for social change. The everyday people he inspired faced the same risks as Dr. King; thankfully they showed the same resolve.
“The great gains we have made in the last few decades have been fueled in large part by the blood, sweat and tears of those who had the courage to follow in his footsteps. From ending Apartheid in South Africa to countering Neo-Nazism in Germany, Dr. Kings message still resonates anywhere the ‘the riches of freedom and the security of justice’ are not enjoyed by all.
“Despite our substantial progress, we cannot stop working. As Dr. King once said ‘we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.’ In many ways we are fighting the same fight. We are still working to end racial profiling, strengthen and protect voting rights and eliminate racial disparities in health care—all work that requires the united efforts of many. We still must to work to eliminate poverty, ensure fair pay for all, and shrink income inequality and so much more.
“The beauty of Dr. King’s legacy is that though his ‘Dream’ is not yet fully realized, the more we work towards it — the better our country and the world becomes. I call on Americans to use this day not as a day off but as a day of action to help bring his dream, the American Dream, one step closer to fruition.”