Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a time to celebrate the life of one of America's great leaders, a man who helped our country live up to its most fundamental promises of democracy, equality, and opportunity for all. It is a time to renew our commitment to the values of racial equality, social justice, and nonviolence that Dr. King championed, and remind ourselves that the powers of courage and compassion can and do triumph over discrimination and hate.
This day is not just a day of words -- it is a day of action. The Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service was established to continue the spirit of social action to which Dr. King devoted his life. Today, thousands of Americans will volunteer their time and energy to combat problems such as hunger, homelessness, and violence. I want to commend these citizens who give their time to the service of others; they are the true legacy of Dr. King.
We have made many strides towards social equality in the last 40 years, but there is no doubt that Dr. King's dream has yet to be fully realized. Together we will continue the fight to bridge barriers, strengthen our communities, empower individuals, and overcome the great challenges of our time.