I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up andlive out the true meaning of its creed. These words are from the famous speechwritten and presented by a great hero, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King,Jr.
A hero is someone who stands up for what he believes, even if he orshe is the only one standing. A hero is someone who will laugh in the face ofdanger, and smile at the face of a child. A hero is someone who will not lookdown on others, but who is looked up to as a leader. Without a doubt, MartinLuther King, Jr. exhibited all these qualities.
King had greatexpectations for our nation. He was a famous minister and civil rights leader whopersuaded many to feel the way he did. He wanted everyone to be equal and havethe same opportunities. He believed everyone should have freedom of speech,freedom of religion, and freedom of assembly and requested - even demanded -these rights for every race, color and creed.
Most leaders direct theirattention toward their own group, but King wanted freedom and equality for all.That is why his heroism and qualities had an impact on the entire world. Hiswords of wisdom and reality opened many eyes and shaped the nation. Many weremoved by his power and touched by the fact that he understood them. Dr. King wasdifferent because he did something about the hatred, violence and bigotry. Hestood up for what he believed in, which took courage and time. He wasassassinated, but he fought for justice to the end.
Because of MartinLuther King, Jr., people today are not separated by iron gates and stone walls,but work together in hopes of making a better tomorrow. I am free to join handswith people of not only all races, but of all religious beliefs andnationalities. I have the opportunity to grow up in a society where there is anunderstanding of other religions and races.
As I mature, I understandwhat King wanted and why he wanted it. He didn't know why there was separationbecause of background or color, and neither do I. His words alone made me askquestions, and more and more I see people for whom they truly are.
Thankyou, Martin Luther King, Jr., for all that you did. Although not everyone feelsthis way, one day I know they will. One day I know your dream will come true, andwhen that day comes everyone will proudly proclaim, Free at last! Free at last!Thank God almighty, we are free at last!
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.