In 2006, Dr. Martin Luther King Day happened to fall on January 16. Below, I am reposting a small part of what I wrote for that day, slightly updated for 2008.
In three days' time, on January 21, the third Monday of the month, we as a nation will be celebrating the life, accomplishments, and blessings of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Our nation and our society have truly been transformed for the better by his life. Many Americans regard him as the greatest peacemaker of our history. I believe him to have been the greatest American patriot of the 20th Century.
This weekend, while enjoying your day off on Monday, or listening to a sermon on the life of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., keep in mind that he was, first and foremost, an inspiring man of God, a man of peace who kept close to the words of his prophet, Jesus Christ. Please also keep in mind that at the time Dr. King was assassinated, most of his civil rights work was done. Almost two years earlier, he had turned his attention toward the injustice of the Vietnam War. I and many others believe that this is the reason he was killed, much more than for his stalwart work for civil rights.
This weekend, many people will be quoting Dr. King's "I Have a Dream" speech. I'll bet you that even President Bush quotes this speech sometime in the next three days. Many consider it Dr. King's magnum opus, but they neglect -- perhaps intentionally, perhaps not -- the speech he gave not long before his death, "Why I Oppose the War in Vietnam". So that this is not forgotten, so that the words of this great patriot, America's greatest peacemaker, are not left to history, particularly in these days when we most desperately need to hear them, please download and listen to Dr. King's thoughts on the Vietnam War, which can plainly be applied to any war.