I was hoping and praying that goodness and spirituality would come out of the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream Speech." I admired and held Dr. King in great esteem. He fought for his people in a civil manner that sent a message to our nation in 1963. He challenged the African American community to make a change in their lives and to do it with love, forgiveness and understanding. He carried his message of real hope and real change to all Americans and rightly so.
However, I was disappointed to see that no Republican speakers were in attendance. I don't know why, but my guess would be that they were not asked. The only Republican to be seen was the one sitting in the beautiful Lincoln Memorial. President Lincoln was a great man and president so full of wisdom and knowledge who agonized over slavery and the problems of his nation and who led us and kept us together following the most devastating war our country has known. Dr. King, too, was a very wise man who knew how to address the young people of the African American community. He encouraged them to do the best and be the best that they could possibly be in whatever job or position they held.
Was I disappointed? Not in Dr. King, but in most of the politicians and speakers who appeared at the 50th anniversary. Unless I missed it, they did not speak about how and what they could do to improve life for themselves and their country, to encourage the youth to stay in school and apply themselves for a better life and education, to stay away from gang life and drugs, etc. Instead many spoke of political issues to stir the crowd and again divide the people of this country. As the camera panned the audience, it showed some individuals agreeing with the speakers with expressions of anger that troubled me. Nothing will change in this country until we all change.
Many of our country's churches have closed and those that haven't aren't even half full. We have removed God from our public buildings, our schools and everywhere that we the people think He is an annoyance. Many of us have pretty much removed Him from our hearts and our lives.
We all need to be reconciled to God before "freedom can ring" for all as we would like. I think that Dr. King would have agreed that love and forgiveness is what this country needs and that can only come from Almighty God.
Elizabeth J. Balson