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Statement from Senator Coons on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day


Location: Wilmington, DE

Senator to participate in events honoring civil rights leader in Wilmington and Dover

U.S. Senator Chris Coons today issued the following statement commemorating the 25th anniversary of the federal holiday honoring the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

"As we pause on this day to reflect on how the dream of Martin Luther King has shaped our country, we should all consider his work unfinished. It is incumbent upon each of us to ensure that all Americans, regardless of their race, religion, or sexual orientation; regardless of whether they were born poor or rich, in an urban or rural community, or in the North, South, East or West -- that the least of us is equally deserving of the same rights and responsibilities afforded the most fortunate. It is my hope that no one looks at equality merely as a measurement of the rights one receives, but also of the responsibilities one takes on.

"To be equal, we must accept that we are not superior. To speak our minds, we should be ready to listen. To accept the assistance of others, we must be willing to ourselves serve our community. We can all do a better job of being of service to one other and of being better friends, better neighbors, and better citizens. This is how we complete Dr. King's unfinished work -- by standing together, by working together, and by serving each other and our communities. By looking past self-interest and personal ambition, and instead looking for how we can serve the greater good and how we can build a better world for our children.

"Dr. King said that, "change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability.' That's why we must continue to fight hatred. We must continue to fight ignorance. We must stand up in our communities and say we are not going to sit by and accept inevitability.

"For 25 years America has paused to honor Dr. King on this holiday, increasingly making it a day "on' rather than simply a day "off' from work. To complete Dr. King's work, we should look at every day as an opportunity to serve our community and put others' interests above our own."

Senator Coons participated in the 27th Annual Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast hosted by the Organization of Minority Women at the Chase Center on the Riverfront in Wilmington Monday morning. He will also participate in the 26th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Program at Delaware State University in Dover later today.

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