Monday, January 17, 2011

Celebrating the King Family

Early photo of Martin Luther King Jr. & Coretta Scott King
So many people around the country today have the day off work today to celebrate the life and times of Martin Luther King Jr. MLK is and always will be known as an extraordinary man. His life’s work is remembered each year on this day as an opportunity to commemorate his legacy of nonviolence, tolerance, and peace.

When I lived in Georgia I had the chance to visit his gravesite, right outside of downtown Atlanta. I have travelled to many of the most moving places around the country like the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington, VA, and the battlegrounds of Gettysburg, PA. I think the grave site of Dr. Martin Luther ranks pretty high on my list of, “oh my god, am I really here” places.

The mausoleum rests just above a small water fountain right outside the entrance to the Ebenezer Baptist Church and on the same street as his childhood home. It is moving, to say the least.

Although, another experience I had while I lived in Georgia was equally moving. Upon the death of Coretta Scott King, her funeral was broadcast live on all of the Atlanta television stations. I watched as several US presidents and other dignitaries paid their respect to the women behind the legendary man. Their words were poignant, sometimes funny, but always endearing for a life that was hard to summarize in a short speech.

The King’s had a simple message. Peace, non-violence, and equality for all people.

It seems pretty simple, right?

I guess it still blows my mind how much anger, hate, death, and sadness there is in the world. Forty-three years after the death of Martin Luther King and five years after Coretta’s death, people are still fighting for civil rights. Makes you wonder if and when it will ever end? 

Since my blog is primarily about living vegan, I should probably say that the King’s message applies to the plight of all animals in the world too. Their lives are often filled with pain, hurt, and sadness. Too often, their lives are cut short and they are given little to no respect in the short life they have.

Non-violence and peace for all.

I just think it is implied.

I will leave you with this. Coretta Scott King lived as a vegan for the last ten years of her life. She knew that her actions spoke louder than words. Her message of love, non-violence and peace extended beyond just humans but to all beings that lived on the earth.

Five years after her death we can still learn from the King family and their message.

Choose peace. Choose love. Choose life. Go veg

Check out this video to hear some pretty amazing remarks from fellow (almost) vegan, Bill Clinton at the memorial service for Coretta Scott King.

Remember where the country was in 2006 and the extra long applause for Bill Clinton makes a little bit more sense. 

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