Is there a wrong way to honor Martin Luther King Jr.?

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. A national holiday to remember a remarkable man who changed the direction of a country.

In Los Angeles, the city marks the occasion with the Kingdom Day Parade. For the past 25 years, junior high school bands have played and dancers have pranced through the streets to commemorate the life of this incredible man. For as long as I can remember, the local ABC affiliate has pre-empted regular programming for two hours to show the parade live. Since they have that sponsorship title, the ABC talent rides in the parade. The local sports guys wave to the crowd and other reporters swarm the streets. For some reason, this has always seemed slightly inappropriate to me.

In my opinion, it seems like a more fitting tribute to King, a man who was all about social change, would be something more relevant. Perhaps a national day of service where people do something to benefit their community. Or, maybe, a designated moment of silence across the US where people stop to reflect on King's life and influence--and what they can do to make a difference.

This man was gunned down; assassinated. Somehow, a huge Ryder moving truck pulling a flatbed of local newscasters and scantily clad dancers shaking what their mamas gave them just seems like a woefully inappropriate tribute. A man of his caliber, to me, deserves a more dignified remembrance. Something of substance; something with meaning.

Is it me? Am I being too conservative? Is there a right and wrong way to honor a man who was killed because of his quest for social change? Or, is just remembering enough?


  1. Good thought provoking article. I think there are people doing things, they aren't a focus in the media as we would like them to be. I think this may make you feel better:

    I like the fact that they are promoting family service to celebrate the day. I agree.

  2. Motivated Procrastinator: Thank you, and thanks for taking the time to comment. I checked out All For Good and you're right, what a great website! I have already bookmarked it and I see a few activities that I think I will attend. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us!

  3. Amber, I think you are looking at this in an entirely intelligent manner. I feel there really should be more behind the day besides a day off of work or school and some parades. Perhaps toning down the parades to properly fit what should be more of a somber mood. Personally, I feel the day should be used to reflect on where the country has been and where it's going. I think the biggest tragedy now would be people knowing it's a holiday without knowing WHY it's a holiday.

    I must admit that I have not had the day off in at least 5 years and it's hard to truly take in what the day means when you are busy at work.

    Very nice to see another excellent post.

  4. Tom: Thanks for your thoughtful comment. I guess it all just strikes me as frivolous. I mean, I even saw a MLK mattress sale at a furniture store. It just seems like such a wasted opportunity. It could be a really powerful day if only we made it one.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...