Congressman John D. Dingell released the following statement in commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Monday, Jan. 20, 2014:
“When Congress established Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, we did so not only to recognize the life and service of the man himself, but also to provide a day on which we could reflect about the ideals of peace and justice for which this great man stood. He so bravely and courageously advocated for so much of what our nation needed at that time and still need to this very day.
“Dr. King taught us to live in a way that recognizes the inherent dignity and value of each and every person. He also taught us always to remember it is the merit of our ideas—not the power we possess—that can change minds, change this nation, and change this world. And today, his message is just as timely and rings just as true as when he was still with us. The way and manner in which he walked our blessed earth and treated his fellow men and women gave us a framework for peacemaking, justice, truth, and love.
“He was a spark that this country needed, and through him we lit the fires of activism and efforts in every corner of the nation to better mankind and promote civility, respect, and the discussion about fundamental rights we so dearly needed. But that spark is not gone, and Dr. King’s flame has not been extinguished. When we in America come together in a manner that reflects Dr. King’s example, we are a stronger and a more peaceful nation.
“Through his words, we can serve our fellow brothers and sisters better. Dr. King was a tremendous American, a vessel of change for this nation, and a truly remarkable human being. As we gather across the country to celebrate his life, it is my hope that—above all—we do not forget his purpose and why he did what he did. Dr. King’s memory humbles me, as it should all Americans.
“That flame of courage and hope lives on in each of us, and it is our duty to continue his service, each and every day, as we promote the love and respect he embodied toward his fellow man.”
Congressman Dingell represents the 12th District of Michigan, and is currently the longest serving member of Congress.