WILMINGTON, Del. – U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) issued the following statement commemorating the 26th anniversary of the federal holiday honoring the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Martin Luther King, Jr. was a visionary who believed that in order for America to be a truly great nation — one that unites its citizens toward the common goal of bettering our country — all Americans, regardless of their race, religion, or sexual orientation, and regardless of whether they were born poor or rich, or in an urban or rural community, deserve the same rights, responsibilities, and opportunities. Ensuring that our children live in a country that is free of hate and discrimination is a core principle of the equality movement that lives on today in no small part because of Dr. King’s historic work.
“As we pause to reflect on the 26th anniversary of Dr. King’s dream that shaped our country, we are reminded of his unfinished work that remains, and our responsibility to continue his work. The best way for each of us tohonor his legacy is not with a day off from work or school, but with a day serving our communities. Service is already an important part of the daily lives of many Delawareans, and I applaud those that embrace the idea of a better life for our neighbors means a better life for our entire state. Dr.King’s vision of a ‘Beloved Community’ wasn’t meant to be utopian or idealistic, but a realistic, achievable goal that we all ought to pursue.
“To complete Dr. King’s work, we should look at every day as an opportunity to fight for social justice. He once said, ‘change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability.’ He was right. We must continue to fight hatred. We must continue to fight ignorance. We must stand up in our communities and say we are not going to sit by and accept inevitability, and rather that we will fight to shape a better world for our children. Our country was built by trailblazers speaking out on what they believed to be right, no matter the odds, and Dr. King’s legacy is a reminder that one person can still change the course of history.”