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"...that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."
Yet unlike some, he chose not to pursue those lofty goals through violence, but instead sought resolution and change through more peaceful methods.
"At the center of non-violence stands the principle of love."
In a time where not everyone was treated equal, he tried to change the way not only individuals, but a nation and a world thought.
"Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness."
The Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King, Junior was assassinated on April 4, 1968. While he saw progress within his short lifetime, including passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, he never considered his work finished.
"Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals."
Today we pause to celebrate the memory of the man and his efforts, and acknowledge that while the world is not perfect, it is far better than it once was.
"I believe that unarmed truth, and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. That is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant."