Wednesday is the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I have A Dream" Speech. He delivered it Aug. 28, 1963, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington.
MLK's "I Have A Dream" Speech about equality and dignity for all mankind continues to this day to inspire Americans to dream of a better life for their children and future generations. The now famous speech was delivered in the heat of the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s.
It was a "profound" speech, said Frankfort Mayor Jim Holland. On that stifling hot day when 200,000 people joined in the March on Washington, Holland was yet a high school student in Seattle, WA.
"I remember the news account of it. I remember hearing about it. I remember thinking what an effective speech it was." The news accounts of the day were divided pro and con, he said.
"As a young person, I remember it being a momentous occasion; that something profound was happening."
Pastor Dave Hedlin of New Lenox's Peace Lutheran Church, 1900 E. Lincoln Highway, reflected on King and the significance of his speech. "The first thing I would say is some people have a way of seeing the big picture. …The issues of the day were more than just racial.
"It's that we are all human beings and we have a stake in treating each other with kindness and respect that there's a level of dignity that we all deserve."
The "I Have A Dream" Speech ends with this statement:
And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"
For the full text of the speech, visit U.S. Constitution Online.