Friday, April 4, 2008

So, where were you?

All day long, I have listened to reports of events taking place in different cities, regarding the forty year anniversary of the death of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Over the years, I have often wondered why I don't have any memory of the events surrounding his assassination. Today, I wonder no more.

I remember very vividly where I was when President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated that day in November of 1963. About the time he was shot, I had just finished firing the 500 yard line for rifle qualification in boot camp. At the time, I jumped up and shouted that I had qualified, and was immediately told to shut up because the President had just been shot. Yeah, I remember that very well.

Forty years ago, today, I was in the Republic of South Vietnam, and had been there for about a month. Our camp was located about four miles south of the demilitarized zone between north and south.

In those days, there was no 24/7/365 cable news networks, nor were there talk show hosts that were being beamed to us, in that far distant world. Except for the occasional mail that might come in from home, we were pretty ignorant about what was happening back in the world.

I think it is good that we remember this tragic event. But, deep within my being, I wonder how much we are really being true to Dr. King's speech. Seems to me he spoke of having a dream that one day all people would be able to live together in peace and harmony.

GUT CHECK!, where are we today?

Seems to me, we have progressed a long ways from those days in respect to Dr. King's dream. Yet, I still see people running around looking for the least bit of anything to scream racism about. How terrible was the Duke university lynching we watched recently?

Makes me wonder what Dr. King would say about how we look as a country today. I kinda believe he is turning over in his grave; just like the founders of this country, as they see what we have become.

Rest in peace, Doctor King. May your dream and prayer be answered before time ends.

May God have mercy on our souls.

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