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Hero of History - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Updated on February 20, 2016

The Martin I’m referring to is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Of course the “them” would be the esteemed collection of memorials located on the National Mall in our nation’s capital Washington D.C.

This massive and revered plot of land is home to the symbolism that embodies the grandeur of our Great nation. It is a veritable hall of fame for those historic luminaries we note as being central to have established and secured the genesis of these United States of America.

It is quite an amazing tribute given to an individual who never held an elected national political office, commanded a great military power or was an actual founding father of our Constitution or Declaration of Independence.

The Power of Peace

Nevertheless as a man of peace and non-violent resistance he welded significant power, authority and influence. He demonstrated great leadership and courage which equaled any of those he now joins in enshrinement. It is a most noteworthy recognition bestowed at our nation’s most prominent piece of real estate which honors it’s heroes of history.

By dismantling walls of racial divide and tearing down cultures of fear and intolerance this man of vision and strength of character challenged America to live up to its lofty and self-imposed ideas represented in the famous quote found on our Declaration of Independence.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness."

These powerful words articulate a bold vision declaring the fundamental and undeniable rights of the individuals within its newly formed self-elected and governed people group. They would attempt to summarize the meaning of why and how it would realize a more perfect union.

A Transformational Question

The establishing of the MLK memorial reminds me of what I feel was the indelible impact that Dr. King had on the United States and even around the world. His life, struggle and yes, DREAM was based on the question asked by the greatest person who ever lived – Jesus Christ the Son of God.

“Will thou be made whole” (John 5:6)

As we remember the legacy of Dr. King, let us focus on of the primary emphasis of his non-violent philosophy. Throughout his celebrated and distinguished leadership role during the 1950’s and 1960’s civil rights movement he challenge the status quo of America with that same question, “will thou be made whole?”

The premise behind that question was to spark the will inside the man. Of course he wanted to be healed as he had been languishing in sickness and paralysis for 38 years.

However even in that downtrodden state he somehow needed permission to embrace his desire to change.

After the man’s encounter with the Lord he was never the same again. He stood up and began to live out the potential of the life he was meant to live.

Greatness Through Service

In much the same way, during the 50’s and 60’s America was being crippled and paralyzed under the heavy burden of discrimination against a struggling class of its people. At what seemed to be the darkest moment of fear, and confusion along came this humble yet powerful, brilliant yet practical, quiet spoken yet fierce orator, unassuming yet absolutely purposeful man of God.

Not greater than his Savior but following in His footsteps from the pulpit as a Baptist minister to the civil rights leader of non-violent marches of protest on the streets of Alabama.

“America will you be made whole?”

Despite hatred, ridicule and arrest Dr. King and other courage supporters of all races stood with solidarity and conviction of purpose. The chorus of those who knew, like him, that the nation could “stand to its feet” and live out the wondrous promises of its greatness began to grow throughout the country.

A Healing Begins

In a magnanimous inflection point of time on August 28, 1963 at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial Dr. Martin Luther King seemed to give the permission that we as a nation needed to begin our healing.

In front of over 250,000+ Americans and millions of others around the world on live television he delivered his electrifying address “I HAVE A DREAM.”

He inspired people of all walks of life; social-economic background and racial diversity to dedicate their lives to reflect the embodiment and commitment of the American Dream. He believed that we could live in peace and respect with regard to our fellow man.

His unrelenting message was that each individual pursue their highest and best manifestation of the God given talents and abilities they had been given. In this way they would ensure personal success and thereby greater success of for their community, country and the world.

A Befitting Tribute

Regardless of the color of a person’s skin or the substance of their social economic status Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s message and legacy should always be remembered.

The 30 foot towering stone and granite image of his likeness now on the grounds of America’s National Mall stands as a gracious reminder to do so. If you ever have the occasion to visit I’m certain it will be a moving experience for you and your family :-)


The March To Justice and Equality

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spearheaded the civil rights movement which led to the passing of the 1965 Voting Rights Act of 1965!

See how he orchestrated the epic march from Selma to Montgomery that culminated in President Johnson's signing of the law!


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    • StayPos profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Florida, USA


      Thanks for stopping by to share your thoughts on my hub. I appreciate the complement :-) I believe Dr. King was the epitome of what makes America a great nation. It's founding ideas and principles are so grand that it takes faith and the willingness to struggle in order to manifest it's promise! He had a Dream some 50+ years ago and we have seen many parts of it come true and yet as you say, have yet more to realize. I for one believe we needed a hero of that kind then and just as importantly we need to remember he and his contemporaries today!

      All the Best

    • Johanna Boomsma profile image

      Johanna Boomsma 

      6 years ago from Florida

      You have the gift of prose as well and we definitely need memorials to remind us how far we've come, but also how far we still have to go. He is a befitting image of a vessel fashioned for the Master's purpose - I thank God for him and his legacy and keeps me focused on the prize... and not to get weary in well-doing.

    • StayPos profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Florida, USA

      Deliberate Writer,

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this hub :-) I appreciate that it was so enjoyable for you! Welcome to Hubpages!

      All the Best,


    • Deliberate Writer profile image


      7 years ago from Oregon

      He should have been there long before that. I'm glad he's there now. This was a fantastic post (it even brought tears to my eyes). Thank you for writing it.

    • StayPos profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Florida, USA


      Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments. I agree that MLK represented great qualities as family man and national civil rights leader. I believe his tremendous courage and strength emanated from a sincere love and dependence on almighty God! Thanks for helping contribute to that commemoration!

      All the Best

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 

      9 years ago from California

      I remember being horrified at what I heard about segregation in the south as a kid. A California girl born and raised my greatest prejudice it was against the south. The only southerners I knew were ignorant. I told my father-in-law I would not go through Alabama to get to Florida from Kentucky. We had Guam license plates on our Toyota in 1978. The movies that were popular around the

      death of MLK were not flattering to the south. MLH was not only a great leader he was a great family man and lover of God. The latter two I believe are the more important.

      Gracious tribute to an honorable man.

    • StayPos profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Florida, USA

      Hey Suzettenaples,

      Thanks for stoppying by and catching up! I would love to take a trip out to D.C. this summer to have a look first hand :-) I haven't been writing much lately ( business project ) but will get things rolling again in April. I always love to hear from my friends on Hubpages! All the Best

    • suzettenaples profile image

      Suzette Walker 

      9 years ago from Taos, NM

      I haven't read any of your hubs lately, so I thought I drop by and see what you have been up to. This is a great hub and a great man and subject to write about. I have always admired King and his nonviolent protest. I consider him a genius. I haven't seen his monument in DC, but I hope to the next time I'm there. It is about time they erected a monument to him in DC. He brought about the greatest social change in America of any time period. Again, wonderful tribute and hub to MLK.

    • StayPos profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Florida, USA

      Hey Dexter!

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing in the celebration :-)

      I've always appreciated what Dr. King and others of the same heart did for our country, namely working to bringing us together versus trying to tear us apart!

      All the Best

    • Dexter Yarbrough profile image

      Dexter Yarbrough 

      10 years ago from United States

      Hi StayPos! Thanks for writing an informational piece on the honor bestowed upon Dr. King. Voted up, up and away!

    • StayPos profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Florida, USA

      H Schneider,

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your kind words of praise :-)

      I so agree with your sentiment that the time had definitely come for Dr. King to be honored with such a memorial.

      It beautifully commemorates his wonderful contribution and positive impact he had on our nation.

      Take Care

    • StayPos profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Florida, USA

      Ralph Deeds,

      Thank you for your compliment :-)

      I appreciate you joining me in celebrating a truly great American who loved his country enough to challenge it to rise to its greatest potential!

      All the Best

    • profile image

      Howard Schneider 

      10 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

      It is about time that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. received a monument in his honor for the freedom and peace he preached for this country. It is well deserved. Wonderful and on the mark Hub StayPos.

    • Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 

      10 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Well done! Martin Luther King has taken his rightful place with our greatest Americans.


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