A Celebration of Remembrance

A Celebration of Remembrance


The significance of the event today at Kutztown
University is to commemorate and remember the 1963 march on Washington; where Dr. Martin
Luther King gave his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech; and to demonstrate to students and
all attendees that the is not a Civil Rights Movement, was not just something for African
Americans but for all people oppressed around the world to find a way to get justice and
freedom. Dr. Blaque had the idea to have an event to
celebrate today and of course we’re always wondering, “what’s the best way of doing that?”
We have the beautiful setting here of the college hill and the bell, to participate
in what was a national ringing of the bells around the country today at 3 o’clock to commemorate
the march on Washington, and really a huge turning point in the Civil Rights Movement. Recounts of Martin Luther King’s speech describe
how as he was reading from his written remarks, he started skipping paragraphs. Some in the
platform noticed it. “He is off, he is on his own. He is inspired” said someone. Mahalia
Jackson, a gospel singer who had performed earlier, is believed to have yelled at him,
“Tell them about the dream, Martin! Tell them about the dream.” What I hope they take away from today is to
be active, to not be complacent. If you see something wrong, say something. If you see
and injustice, say something. Stand up for your minority friends. Stand up for your gay
friends. Stand up for the single women who have children who are your friends and let
them know that they are human too, that you are all equal, and we cannot discriminate
against each other. My father used to say not to let memories
become more important than dreams. It is important to honor the memory of that fateful day in
Washington, but remember that the dream is not finished. So on this day, when we are
remembering this seminal day in American history, my charge to you is to keep the dream alive.
Today, while we remember the march on Washington and the Revered Martin Luther King’s inspiring
and historical speech, keep in mind that the dream lives on and still needs all of us if
it is to be achieved. Thank you.

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