Forty-seven years ago, a man named Martin Luther King Jr. marched up to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial with hopes to change a nation that was divided by beliefs and dominated by racism. Last night, I stood on those steps.
As I looked out onto the reflecting pool from King’s platform, I imagined seeing thousands of faces looking to me to represent them in their fight for equality. How could I have represented my people in an influential way under the shadow of the Great Emancipator?
I also envisioned myself in the passionate crowd that flooded the Mall in August of 1963. What would it have felt like to be a member of an oppressed people in the height of the Civil Rights Movement?
It was these thoughts that made me even more grateful for one of the most powerful orators and activists in history. This 17-minute speech served as a major catalyst for racial equality and an end to discrimination in America.
Martin Luther King Jr. made possible the country we know today – a country where men and women are judged by the content of their character, a country that is ultimately united and powerful in the face of adversity, and a country that overcomes differences by electing an African-American president to lead it through times of trouble.
Visiting the sight of the “greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation” was one of the most impactful experiences I have had on American soil, and it has certainly given me a heightened sense of appreciation for the icon of human rights.
Take a few minutes out of your day to listen to the greatest speech in American history …