President Obama, the heir apparent to Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream, officially christened the King Memorial on the National Mall while reminding citizens that King would support the populous uprising seen across the country.
“If he were alive today, I believe he would remind us that the unemployed worker can rightly challenge the excesses of Wall Street without demonizing all who work there,” he said.
“As was true 50 years ago, as has been true throughout human history, those with power and privilege will often decry any call for change as divisive. They’ll say any challenge to the existing arrangements are unwise and destabilizing,” the president added before tens of thousands who packed the field adjacent to the memorial that sits adjacent the Lincoln Memorial. Many of the throngs who left the dedication sent over the Lincoln Memorial to snap pictures of the exact spot where King delivered his legendary “I Have a Dream” speech 48 years ago.
In the same address, he urged supporters to be patient in their yearning for change, which he promised he would deliver.
“As tough as times may be, I know we will overcome,” he declared, standing under the new 30-foot granite monument to the civil rights legend. “I know there are better days ahead. I know this because of the man towering over us.
Obama paid tribute to King’s “moral imagination” and invoked the bitter struggle of the slain civil rights hero, while portraying today’s villains as those resisting efforts to progress and create a fairer society.
“When met with hardship, when confronting disappointment, Dr. King refused to accept what he called the is-ness of today,” the president said.
“Let us not be trapped by what is. We can’t be discouraged by what is. We’ve got to keep pushing for what ought to be, the America we ought to leave to our children, mindful that the hardships we face are nothing compared to those Doctor King and his fellow marchers faced 50 years ago.”
— terry shropshire