Sunday, July 13, 2014

Working as one, we can overcome

February 20. 2013 3:14AM
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MARTIN LUTHER King Jr. events over the weekend put an appropriate and timely emphasis on one aspect of the civil rights martyr's legacy: community.

King's college Junior Nicole Caccese painted it in personal experience at an Arizona homeless shelter where she volunteered: I learned that no matter what they lacked, they had hope and strength from the people around them.

Latino Activist Angel Jirau: Dr. King taught us we must come together to overcome our fears.

State Rep. Eddie Day Pashinski: When we work together, we go farther, we do good things. … We must do our part to move the bar forward.

King's College Shoval Center Director Bill Bolan: We cannot help people unless we are part of a community, and that is one of the legacies Martin Luther King gave us as a nation.

Luzerne County Community College President Thomas Leary read a poem written by area native Richard Franklin: Marching along in oneness means peace for all mankind.

In our hyper-partisan age, as the country seems to grow increasingly fractured along ever-hardening lines of ideology, this aspect of King's heritage becomes that much more meaningful. Yes, it can sound like wishful thinking, but as Rev. Shawn Walker reminded us Monday: People who are close to giving up, remember it is still OK to dream.

Taking a stand on core principles is admirable, but when conflicting sides ossify so thoroughly that neither budges, the country freezes in inaction. We move forward best and fastest when we work together, and that was King's strength, exemplified in the massive marches of people from all races and ethnicity finding common ground.

As Luzerne County Judge Richard Hughes said: The appropriate way to pay tribute to Dr. King is to practice what he preached.

He preached coming together to overcome our obstacles. It worked then. It can work now.

Dr. King taught us we must come together to overcome our fears.

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