WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies released the following statement/rom its President and CEO, Ralph B. Evereft, on the dedication of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial:
A permanent tribute to the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is now rightfully placed alongside others honoring our nation’s greatest heroes -those who, down through the generations, have defended our freedoms and carried forth liberty’s torch from sea to shining sea and beyond.
The King National Memorial honors a vision, a message and a hope that bums inside the heart of every human being – and behind all these a man who had the courage to uphold the path of nonviolence as the surest way to human dignity and opportunity for all. As a member of the generation that came of age during the civil rights era, as a fellow Morehouse College alumnus, and as a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. – which played a special leadership role in making this memorial a reality -1 am especially proud that Dr. King is finally getting the recognition that he deserves.
In so many ways, the new memorial will invigorate the ‘mystic chords of memory’ that resound on the National Mall and evoke the hallowed ideals of duty, honor and sacrifice. It will mean a richer experience for every person who walks those acres, and an opportunity to draw deeper meaning from the American experience and Dr. King’s role in advancing our country closer to that more perfect union that the founders envisioned.
For the Joint Center, the memorial will serve as an important source of inspiration, right here in our midst, to carry on with our work in securing the fulfillment of Dr. King’s dream of justice under the law, greater opportunity for all and an America that truly lives up to its historic promise.
In that sense, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial is both a measure of our society’s progress and an encouragement to do better. Long may it strengthen the hearts of all our fellow Americans.