Standing beside the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Ambassador Young cued those assembled to "turn the dirt" to break ground on the Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial in our nation's capital.
Like the results of the midterm elections, the groundbreaking in
With joyous choral voices fading, the Ambassador recalled the final planning meeting with this country's last great leader in
Ambassador Young talked about how Dr. King told them, in the hours before his assassination, that they were laying the whole movement on him, that they needed to step up and be the leaders as well, that he was thinking of stepping down if he couldn't count on them.
With tears, the great men at today's event showed more than the sadness that comes from memory and loss. They were the tears of great men awed by the grace life gave them to be in the presence of the greatest of men.
So, at Andy Young's cue, the group "turned the dirt," and in the wake of the speeches and the songs, an old era of struggling for liberty was insured of its endurance, and a new era of reclaimed promise was insured of its time in the sun.
From the changes wrought by their marches and protests and even their blood, we can now all affect change through the ballot box, as we did one week ago.
May we all humbly take the torch they now hand us and - as they did when Dr. King handed it to them - move it forward strongly, resolutely and justly for the sake of all America, all Her people, and all the people of the world.