MLK Day: Remembering a King


John Santone, Junior Editor

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has gone down in history as an American hero, and perhaps the biggest influence on the civil rights movement in the country. Martin Luther King Day celebrates the life and actions of one man brave enough to take a stand for what is right.

Equality is a very important belief nowadays, but this clearly was not always the case. Men and woman fought a difficult battle to gain equal rights and fair laws for people of color.

Ever since the first federal MLK Day in 1986 the country has recognized the importance of King’s life and works. For almost 40 years the nation has honored King and the beliefs that he died for. It has been 23 years since all fifty states have celebrated the holiday together, after Jeanne Shaheen signed it into law in New Hampshire in late 1999.

Martin Luther King Day reminds everyone of the founding ideals of America, that all people are created equal. It tells a story of a decades-long struggle for African-Americans to be treated right. The holiday lets the country reflect on the misdeeds of the past and the need to right them.

Erie commemorates King and his work annually with a march through downtown. The participants this year held a sign saying “Every American Can Make A Difference,” with a theme of helping others and giving back to the community.

The life of Dr. King inspires change in people all around the country, and especially those fighting against racism and inequality. Martin Luther King Day is just one reminder of some great people in history who made a change for what they knew was right.