MARTIN LUTHER KING AND ROBERT F. KENNEDY
COMMEMORATION PRAYER SERVICE,
April 4, 2010
There is an unmistakable familiar ring in the memorable refrain “I have a dream” of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the words often repeated by the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy: “…I dream of things as they never were, and ask why not?”
Both these learned men, national leaders and American icons witnessed human struggle, the rampant injustice, discrimination, violence, the incredible suffering of the innocents in America and around the world and came face to face with this unacceptable reality at different crossroads. Being men of deep conscience they knew, that this unconscionable darkness on the human spirit cannot be ignored.
MLK and Robert Kennedy saw the sanctity of inalienable rights and dignity of each life from their respective cultural “mountaintops.” They challenged leaders and responsible institutions to deliver the constitutional promise and safeguards to all citizens as an act of faith and moral courage, and in affirmation of the noble ideals upon which America was founded. They directed their common and converging visions, deep convictions, and powerful “pulpits,” towards fighting for racial equality, basic freedoms, and justice for all Americans. They made the ultimate sacrifice in advancing human hopes, rights, and dreams.
They exemplified service and sacrifice for others in the highest spiritual and humanitarian traditions. According to the Sikh Scriptures: such noble souls “Having righteously labored and serving God and Man during their earthly journey and emancipating many who crossed their path in life, enter the Kingdom of God with their heads held high and with brilliant light on their faces.”
Today, King-Kennedy legacy of peace, non-violence, and justice for all is a part of the conscience of America and the free world. The torch they lit illuminates the paths to our future. Now their daring call is our mandate; their shining and lasting legacy is our individual and collective legacy; their unfinished dreams, and of countless others before and since, are our sacred trust.
For their dreams to be fully realized: we must continue bridging all stubborn divides; dispelling ignorance, hatred, violence, prejudice, and the stereotyping of people different from our own. Remembering that the same Divine Energy reverberates throughout the entire Creation and “Every living being is a repository of God’s Light,” we must solemnly embrace ideas and ideals that honor God and dignify our humanity in all its colorful splendor and majesty.
Going forward with hope, faith, love, and service as our anchor, may we continue our striving with a spirit that is liberating and affirming, our intentions grounded in “Making their Dream A Reality” for the generations to come.
Every day we learn of Americans, many of them right here among you tonight and all across this blessed Nation, embracing the vision championed by these two great men, shaping our Republic, working for peace among nations and cultures. That is cause for optimism, thanksgiving, and celebration. We also know that the stretched hands of King and Kennedy in the inspiring sculpture in King Park need to come together in a solidarity clasp with each of us serving as the connecting bridge. That would be the ultimate tribute to their memory and sacrifice.
Indianapolis, Indiana USA
Where knowledge is free,
“Where the mind is without fear and head is held high;
And the world is not broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls…”
-Indian Nobel Laureate, Rabindranath Tagore
“All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word:
freedom; justice; honor; duty; hope; mercy.”
-British Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill
MAKING THE DREAM A REALITY
Champions of Peace
Recently, I had the honor to participate in the annual King-Kennedy Commemoration Ceremonies at the King Memorial Park in Indianapolis. The gathering of several hundred was addressed by U.S.Congressman Andre Carson, Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, Indiana State Representative Bill Crawford, and several representatives of the faith community, civic leaders, and young students. A portion of Dr. King's famous speech: "I have a dream" and the entire speech of Senator Robert F. Kennedy on the fateful night of April 4, 1968, the night Rev. Dr. Martin, Luther King was killed in Memphis, Tennessee was played during the Commemoration Ceremonies celebrating their lives and legacies of peace, non-violence, justice and dignity for all God's Children.
The gathering of so many and the presentations of each participant added dignity, as they lent their spirit to the sanctity of the site and the solemn moment. I returned from the experience greatly blessed and inspired to see the dream had taken some giant leaps forward………………… Kanwal Prakash “KP” Singh