I’m proud that so many offices are closed today. I’m even more proud that the one I work in has been closed for MLK Day for 30 years. It is a benefit that the local union negotiated far in advance of “official” holiday status.
While America may be relatively young compared to our friends around the world, we have a string of holidays that are either too old to be important to our youth (Columbus Day?), too trivial to matter (Groundhogs Day?), important commercialized (Thanksgiving), or religious holidays that may not apply to you (Xmas, Easter).
I am proud of MLK Day. It is easy to explain, it is relevant, and the message of equality still rings true today. In a world where we are still fighting through implementing the DADT repeal, it is important to remember what we, as a nation, faced just a few decades ago. It matters that there was such vitriol towards a peaceful man. It matters that he gave his life for his beliefs.
If you’ve never been, plan a trip to Memphis. Visit the National Civil Right Museum. See where MLK was assassinated. Read the story. Remember why it is important. This is our history, our identity, our sins laid bare, and our hope that we can move forward.
HR likes to talk about equality (though we call it diversity and inclusion). This is our day of remembrance.
Happy birthday, doc. And thanks.