On a day much like today, with sun shining on a playing field of thousands, an enlightened black minister rose to the podium.
Did he have an elegant speech writer? Maybe, or most likely he wrote it in the back seat as he was being driven to the mall that day .
It became immortal and so did he.
On this day, Let freedom ring. On this day, may we remember the quote:
“Thank God Almighty Free At Last”.
It is so easy to move on swiftly to one’s work day, one’s Starbuck ritual and forget the past but this memory I hold sacred. So many forward thinking liberals accepted their assignments knowing that their lives were in peril.
“It’s part of the biz”, one might say. Again, one might query: “But WHY?” They ignored the potentials of their walk, and just proceeded forward.
Decades have passed since that day of history and yet annually I bow my head to remember.
“Freedom” this elusive term, was won at a price. Many lives were lost in pursuit of this elusive “Freedom”. I, for one, will never take for granted what it took AND takes to keep that freedom ringing.
We far too easily move on to new and exciting avenues.
Bellowing politicians shout of new presidents.
As our first black president turns toward his own new destiny, may we pause, yes, one and all, including the bellowing white folks on podiums and remember: Thank God Almighty Free At Last.
To Martin Luther King, I say thank you for the courage and guts it took to follow through with a mission.
You lost your life in the process but gained eternity and created a legacy. I won’t let my grandchildren forget the gift you gave. You didn’t turn away and say, “That’s to hard. It will never happen. I won’t be popular with a lot of folks. You just kept walking, and those who walked beside you held the Vision with you, and indeed they do NOW.
It is in this moment that I bow my head in silence for their courage and for our loss, but the gain of an entire world. They showed up.
Thank God Almighty…..free at last.