I was privileged to be head writer for the all-star gala, ‘Martin Luther King, Jr.: A Monumental Life’ a tribute event during the opening of the Martin Luther King Memorial in Washington, D.C. in 2011. Below is an excerpt from the opening segment.
We are gathered on this momentous occasion to celebrate a milestone – a dream realized. Across the Mall, a new monument stands proudly as a testament to the prophetic dream realized thanks to the efforts of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. You see, it was over forty years ago when King’s message went beyond the Jim Crow south and echoed the need for change around the world. With words of compassion and non-violent change, King was the architect of a movement to tear down the walls of oppression, stone-by-stone and inspired a people to galvanize hope for a better tomorrow of peace and equality.
But today we celebrate the fact that we have learned from his example becoming the architects of the dream. When the construct of ignorance and intolerance creates obstacles and stumbling blocks, we use his tools – compassion, faith and good will to tear them down. Yes, we’re the architects of different gender, race, political and religious ideologies who build upon the dream just as he did: day-by-day and stone-by-stone; constructing a better future for our children – a safe haven for neighbors and helping hand to our global family. It is the goodwill of these architects that enables the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Project team and the hundreds of thousands of donors to build what we celebrate today as a testament not made of stone and glass but of praise and thanks as we hold our heads high and say in jubilation: what we build today can never be torn asunder.