US remembers, honors Martin Luther King, his legacy of unity, nonviolence

Washington, Jan 16 (EFE).- Thousands of Americans on Monday commemorated what would have been the 94th birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a day to reject gun violence and to support national unity and working together for common goals.

“The path is clear to go forward. We need to go together,” Biden said, speaking at one of the events organized to recall the civil rights leader and his legacy, adding that Americans should let themselves be guided by Dr. King’s example and that nothing is beyond our ability if we do it together.

Biden participated in an event organized in Washington by the National Action Network to pay tribute to former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and to Arndrea Waters King, the wife of Martin Luther King III, the oldest son of the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize winner, and to Dr. King’s widow Coretta Scott King.

The Democratic president said he was ready to work with the new Republican-controlled House of Representatives to achieve progress for all Americans.

Biden, in his remarks, did not mention the scandal regarding the finding of several classified documents in recent weeks at his home and office stemming from his 2009-2017 term as vice president under Barack Obama.

The event took place one day after Biden delivered a sermon in memory of Dr. King at Atlanta’s iconic Ebenezer Baptist Church at which the slain civil rights leader served as pastor from 1960 until his assassination in 1968 and where his funeral was held.

In his speech, Biden spoke about the critical moment the US and the world are going through right now and discussed the need to keep fighting for democracy.

The Democrat was the first sitting US president to speak at a Sunday service at the church.

Besides in Washington, events honoring Dr. King were also held in a number of cities around the country, including a parade of civil associations and a peace march to commemorate the Aug. 28, 1963, March on Washington by more than 250,000 people and where Dr. King delivered his moving and historic “I have dream” speech.

Participating in that event were members of civil rights organizations along with victims of violence, including two mothers who lost children to gun violence while they were playing outside and who have called for stricter gun control.

In the opinion of William H. Lamar IV, the pastor of the Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church, it is important to remember who Dr. King really was because what the US wants people to do is think about him as a Santa Claus-like figure, he told EFE.

Lamar said Dr. King was a “radical theologian” who thought that doing the work one was called to do meant that this country’s mechanisms must be reordered to take care of those among us who have less.

Dr. King’s work is as outstanding today as it was 60 years ago and remains alive in those of us who believe that freedom is a right of all human beings, he said, accompanied by several demonstrators who displayed signs with slogans like “Fight and win. Racism, war, poverty, the three evils of society.”

Among those demonstrators was Charnal Chaney, who told EFE that she founded a yoga company to promote healing throughout the African American community and to teach people self-awareness and emotional intelligence so that they can control their emotions.

Dr. King, she said, is one of the people she most admires because he started at an early age and was ready to sacrifice himself and die for what he believed. She said it is inspiring to know that today we can do more for our community and that it’s not as difficult to fight to improve it as it was in years past.

Monday’s activities are being undertaken for Martin Luther King Day, a federal holiday, that has been celebrated since the 1980s on the third Monday of January.



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