Thursday, May 2nd, 2019
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Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Senator-Ruben-Diaz You should know, that on Monday January 18, 2016, we celebrate the life and legacy of the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. I extend warm greetings to my African-American brothers and sisters and to all people of good will who follow Dr. King's example.

You should also know, that on April 4, 1968, Dr. King was taken from us, much too quickly and much too violently. Yet, the manner in which he left us is not what I wish to dwell on as we commemorate his life. Rather, I believe it is important to reflect on the lessons he left us, the lessons of his life and the lessons of his legacy.

Dr. Martin King’s life was a life lived in service to others. His life was a life lived calling for an end to the injustice caused by racial inequality, the injustice caused by poverty, and the injustice caused by war. Despite his best efforts and unending dedication, he did not witness an end to these injustices in his lifetime.

Reverend Doctor King’s legacy to us is this:  that in our time and in our day, right here and now, we are called to end the injustice of racial inequality, the injustice of poverty, and the injustice of all war. We are the heirs of Dr. King’s legacy. We must not falter in our efforts.

I want you to know of a sermon Dr. King delivered, just two short months before his untimely passing, at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia on February 4, 1968:

“And so Jesus gave us a new norm of greatness. If you want to be important—wonderful. If you want to be recognized—wonderful. If you want to be great—wonderful. But recognize that he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. That's a new definition of greatness. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don't have to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don't have to know Einstein's theory of relativity to serve. You don't have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace, a soul generated by love. And you can be that servant.”

As we celebrate the legacy of  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his message of service and a more peaceful world, let us continue to imitate him in our deeds and in our actions. Let us be the servant that Dr. King so eloquently described. I wish God’s blessings on each and every one of you, my brothers and sisters.

State Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz, New York


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