Monday, January 19, 2009
I've always felt uncomfortable saying "Happy Martin Luther King Day." I don't say "Happy Presidents Day," or "Happy Columbus Day," either, and I could go on about other holidays in this same space. It just doesn't seem fitting to my eyes or sound comfortable rolling off my lips.
This holiday also didn't mean a whole helluva lot to me in years past. MLK Day wasn't a holiday while I was still in the military and I worked every MLK Day after it was designated as such... the Feds and State gub'mint employees are about the only ones off today... nearly everyone else works. My only observance of Dr. King's birthday in years past was to occasionally re-read his "I Have A Dream" speech, and I performed that small act only after the the internet came into being. (I was busy being inducted into the Air Force on the day Dr. King delivered the speech at the Lincoln Memorial, so I missed it.)
But this year is different, innit? Tomorrow the first African-American man in our history will be sworn into the highest office in the land. We should ALL be proud of that fact, regardless of our political views or loyalties. While Dr. King's dream hasn't been fully realized by any means, tomorrow's inauguration of Barack Obama at the West front of the U.S. Capitol marks the biggest symbolic step in that direction I've seen in MY lifetime. It makes me proud to be an American... so VERY proud.
Happy Martin Luther King Day.