WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) issued the following statement honoring the life of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., which will be celebrated as a national holiday on Monday, January 16.
More than 25 years ago, the birthday of the late Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. became a national holiday so that our nation — and future generations — would understand and appreciate Dr. King’s fight for the equality of all Americans.
As a minister and as an activist, Dr. King believed in a world where all people were judged “not by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” He was an iconic figure who galvanized our nation in the fight for civil rights.
His life was not an easy one – he faced threats, separation from his family, imprisonment — but he remained committed to ending what was then the status quo of separate but inherently unequal. His life and his work changed the course, the conscience and the character of our nation.
Today, we are a nation of more than 300 million people; a nation in which one-out-of-three Americans is a member of a minority group. Dr. King is one of our country’s most beloved and admired leaders because he had the courage to stand up against racism and hatred with non-violent activism.
As we celebrate and honor his life on January 16, we rededicate ourselves to his legacy of equality, fairness, and justice, and we pledge that all Americans will understand and remember the accomplishments of Dr. King.