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Honoring the Memory of a Great Man, Martin Luther King Jr.

January 19, 2010

Schools and businesses all over the nation are closed today in observance of Martin Luther King Jr., Day. I agree he should be honored. He was a leader in the civil rights movement and I believe he would be proud of the progress we, as a nation, have made. But my question is, “Since education is so important for the advancement of anyone, wouldn’t he have wanted children to remain in school rather than just to have a day off?” There are other holidays that schools aren’t closed. What warrants taking a day off? I found this on one website for Martin Luther King, Jr.:

Remember! Celebrate! Act!

A Day On, Not A Day Off!!

If every student looked at it that way, I wouldn’t have a problem yet that isn’t the case. Perhaps if students were at school, they can learn more about the man and what he stood for. Or maybe classes could volunteer to help those in need in their communities on that day. It could be a yearly, ongoing effort to instill in students an understanding of tolerance, to value the diversity in others and to find non-violent ways to resolve conflicts.
Coretta Scott King wrote this on the King Center website regarding young children:

Every King Holiday has been a national “teach-in” on the values of nonviolence, including unconditional love, tolerance, forgiveness and reconciliation, which are so desperately-needed to unify America. It is a day of intensive education and training in Martin’s philosophy and methods of nonviolent social change and conflict-reconciliation. The Holiday provides a unique opportunity to teach young people to fight evil, not people, to get in the habit of asking themselves, “What is the most loving way I can resolve this conflict?” ;
For more that Coretta Scott King wrote about her husband and the holiday: http://www.thekingcenter.org/KingHoliday/Default.aspx

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