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John Mercure: Mercurey Rising

'I Have a Dream: A Perspective

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It was 50 years ago today that Dr Martin Luther King Jr gave his iconic 'I have Dream Speech'.

The speech continues to resonate with people today.  As a matter of fact, several historians say it resonates much more today than when it was delivered.  The March on Washington 50 years ago was epic. And there is no doubt that King was already a legend. But the speech he gave that day was in large part, a speech that he had given several times. The ‘I Have a Dream’ theme was one the King went to occasionally.  What made the dream reference so interesting this time was that King had a prepared speech drawn up and he went away from it and focused on the Dream theme.  It was a sweltering hot day and the change seemed to energize the crowd.  

My daughter Aimee is now 20 years old.  She has admired Dr King her entire life.  About ten years ago we took a family vacation to Washington, DC.  As we stood at the Lincoln Memorial looking around I suddenly couldn’t find Aimee.  I looked up and she was wandering around the area outside the Lincoln statue, that looks out on the Mall. 

I asked her what she was doing and she told me that she was “looking for the special spot where the special man said it didn’t matter what color you were.”  I was stunned.  I was proud.

Late that afternoon Aimee cried, literally as she stood on the spot where Dr King stood.  Once again, I was surprised.  And I was proud. 

I’m in awe at how easy is for young people to follow their heart and just “get it”.  Aimee just gets it.  I am amazed at how Aimee just gets it.

 

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