Mayor’s Message: Remembering Martin Luther King Jr.

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

                                                                                           Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Later this month we celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and honor the memory of this civil rights pioneer who dared to dream. As we observe Martin Luther King Day, let us remember Dr. King’s vision for equality, dignity and respect to all human beings.

Dr. King followed the non-violent protest philosophies of Gandhi and constantly reminded his followers that their fight for equality would be victorious if they did not resort to bloodshed.  Between 1957 and 1968, Dr. King traveled over six million miles and gave over 2,500 speeches, while writing five books in support of civil rights and equality for all Americans.

On Aug. 23, 1963, more than 250,000 people gathered in Washington D.C. where Dr. King led a peaceful march to the Capitol Building to support the passing of laws that guaranteed every American equal civil rights. It was on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial that Dr. King delivered his legendary speech later entitled, “I Have a Dream.”

During his crusade, Dr. King was awarded five honorary degrees and named “Man of the Year” by Time Magazinein 1963.  At the age of 35, he became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize and donated his prize money of $54,123 to the civil rights movement.

On the evening of April 4, 1968, while standing on the balcony of his motel room in Memphis, Tennessee, this man of peace was violently assassinated.

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed:  We hold these truths to be self evident; that all men are created equal.  I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character…”

When we celebrate this holiday, we are celebrating the life and legacy of a man who brought hope and healing to our nation. We honor the values he exemplified and remember his teachings of courage, truth, respect, integrity, humility and service.

** The Voorhees Arts Council is offering a Holiday Stress Relief Gift Workshop on Wednesday, Jan. 15 from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. in the Voorhees Arts Center located in the Voorhees Town Center. Each participant will be able to make artisan soap, a fancy candle and customized bath salts. This event is also BYOB so you are welcome to bring some wine. The cost is $20 and includes all materials. Space is limited. For more information or to reserve a seat, call (609) 315-6218 or visit marianne@marianneleone.com.,

** The Voorhees Breakfast Rotary Club will be holding their annual Voorhees Township Community Service Awards Dinner on Thursday, Jan. 23 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Lucien’s Manor. The Voorhees Breakfast Rotary Club will honor their Community Service Award recipients for 2019, including Voorhees Business the Year, the Voorhees Citizen of the Year, the Voorhees First Responder of the Year and the Voorhees Selfless Student of the Year. For more information and to purchase tickets, go to www.Voorheesbreakfastrotary.org.