Rep. John Lewis Honors Martin Luther King Jr. On the Anniversary of his Death
"Today 47 years ago, this nation lost the moral leader of the 20th century. He was my friend, my brother, my mentor, my leader and the inspiration of millions of people in America and around the world. Since his death I have traveled to many nations including India, Germany, Ireland, Turkey, South Africa and many others where Dr. King is revered as an icon of American history. He was an African American minister from the Deep South who believed that the dynamic application of the power of love could heal all human problems and unite all humanity. He also believed that love is not passive; it takes action to confront injustice, it speaks up and speaks out to encourage the human community to live up to its highest ideals.
"At the end of his life, he was coaligning people across religious, racial, class, language, and regional boundaries to bring an end to the burden and humiliation of poverty and hunger. His leadership and his life still offer an example to any human being who seeks justice and peace. His work is not just iconic because of all he achieved, but because what he espoused nearly a half century ago remains a set of goals our society still reaches for today. Dr. King said that we must learn to live as brothers and sisters or we will perish as fools. He said peace is not the absence of tension but the presence of justice, and these are truths we as a nation have yet to fulfill. America is a better nation, and we are a better people because of the life and legacy of Dr.Martin Luther King Jr."