Service as Remembrance


In 1994, Congress designated Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a national day of service, marking it as the only federal holiday dedicated to volunteering, helping our neighbors, and making our communities better places. Because of this designation, many individuals and families use their day off to serve others and to teach their children about the value of being a good citizen. But how does this connect us to MLK?

Most of us know about Dr. King’s struggle for racial equality and his critical role in the Civil Rights Movement, but it doesn’t seem like we spend enough time as a society focusing on the broader context of his vision. MLK called us to serve one another. He urged us to treat each other with the utmost respect, dignity, and always with nonviolence. He pushed us to reach beyond our own circles of influence to work together with the poor, the oppressed, the under-represented as well as the wealthy, the powerful, and the policy-makers.

As I served this MLK Day, I called to mind the deeper meanings imbedded within MLK’s I Have a Dream speech. I thought about how continuing to serve others, to fight for justice, and to hold deliberate dialogues with those around me are ways to remember those who have gone before us serving the cause. So let’s continue to volunteer together to remember Dr. King, to create stronger communities, and to build the dream society from his speech TODAY!

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