"Reflecting on Dr. King's Impact/Legacy"
Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson
Washington, DC – Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson submitted the following statement to the Congressional Record on Tuesday, January 13, in support of H.Res. 43, which passed the House unanimously.
The resolution recognizes Martin Luther King Day and promotes it as a day of service. Martin Luther King Day will be observed Monday, January 19.
I rise today to honor Dr. King’s legacy and to commemorate this day of national service. Dr. King once said, “Everybody can be great... because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”
It is that idea, that together we can make a difference, in this nation and in the lives of others, that has prompted this day of service.
I believe that the message of change resonates greatly this particular Martin Luther King Day.
This past year, I have seen young people who have never before been involved in service working to change their communities. The ideals for which Dr. King gave his life have energized a new generation of peaceful activists.
These young people may not have experienced the words and spirit of Dr. King during their lifetime, but his legacy drives their efforts and enthusiasm.
It is a testament to his greatness that Dr. King’s message has transcended time and generations.
Dr. King called on all of us to no longer stand alone in silence, but to stand up together as a voice against injustice.
He inspired us to fight for change through nonviolent means, and paved the road for us to continue that fight even after his death.
Dr. King left us with the challenge to courageously fight and secure the civil rights for all, from the impoverished and disenfranchised underclass to the politically and economically endowed.
And while we have made great progress, there is still work to be done.
We must remain diligent and engaged in defining how our nation will achieve this equality.
Today's Martin Luther King Day is as much about the past as it is about the present and the future.
Dr. King’s dream is truly timeless, and I hope all will participate in this day of service to honor his faith and vision.