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October 16, 2011

Dedication Ceremony for the Martin Luther King, Jr., National Memorial in Washington D.C.

"A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death. . . . We can no longer afford to worship the god of hate or bow before the altar of retaliation. The oceans of history are made turbulent by the ever-rising tides of hate. History is cluttered with the wreckage of nations and individuals that pursued this self-defeating path of hate." ~Martin Luther King, Jr. "Beyond Vietnam," Address delivered to the Clergy and  Laymen Concerned about Vietnam, at Riverside Church, NYC, 4/4/67

Although America "honors" the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a national holiday on the third Monday of each January, this year, the late human rights leader will get a second round of celebration due to today's dedication of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial in West Potomac Park, Washington D.C. 


Covering four acres, the Washington D.C. Martin Luther King, Jr., National Memorial originally opened to the public on August 22, 2011, after more than two decades of planning, fund-raising and construction. The dedication ceremony was scheduled for Sunday, August 28, 2011, the 48th anniversary of the "I Have a Dream" speech that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963 but was postponed until today, October 16th (the 16th anniversary of the 1995 Million Man March on the National Mall) due to Hurricane Irene.

The 30ft-tall statue, called The Stone of Hope, which forms the centerpiece of the $120 million, four-acre memorial to Dr King, was crafted by Lei Yixin, a 57-year-old master sculptor from Changsha in Hunan province, China.  More than 150 granite blocks, weighing some 1,600 tons, were then shipped from Xiamen to Baltimore, and reassembled by a team of 100 workmen, including ten Chinese stone masons brought over specifically for the project.

In honor of Dr. King, and as our own FugginSuggin.com dedication, below is Evidence of Revision - Part 6 - The Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., followed by a few inspiring quotes from the great human rights leader. 




“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”


“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”


“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”


“If you can't fly then run, if you can't run then walk, if you can't walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”

“Let no man pull you low enough to hate him.”


“Never, never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.”

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”


“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

“A man who won't die for something is not fit to live.”


“Everybody can be great...because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”


“If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as a Michaelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, 'Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”

“Those who are not looking for happiness are the most likely to find it, because those who are searching forget that the surest way to be happy is to seek happiness for others.”


“Wars are poor chisels for carving out peaceful tomorrows.”

“Not only will we have to repent for the sins of bad people; but we also will have to repent for the appalling silence of good people.”


“No one really knows why they are alive until they know what they'd die for.”


“Never forget that everything Hitler did in Germany was legal.”

“The choice is not between violence and nonviolence but between nonviolence and nonexistence.”


“There comes a time when silence is betrayal.”

“On some positions, Cowardice asks the question, "Is it safe?" Expediency asks the question, "Is it politic?" And Vanity comes along and asks the question, "Is it popular?" But Conscience asks the question "Is it right?" And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must do it because Conscience tells him it is right.”


“People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don't know each other; they don't know each other because they have not communicated with each other.”

“We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”


“Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.”

“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy to a friend.”


“As my sufferings mounted I soon realized that there were two ways in which I could respond to my situation -- either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force. I decided to follow the latter course.”

“Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.”


“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.”

“Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness.”


“Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars... Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

“The day we see the truth and cease to speak is the day we begin to die”

 

“We must rapidly begin the shift from a "thing-oriented" society to a "person-oriented" society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.” 

~ Martin Luther King, Jr., January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968