Park City seems a world away from the historic anniversary being celebrated today. In fact, it is unlikely that many Parkites stood among those gathered on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., uttered those now-famous words, "I have a dream " But his sentiments still ring true, even here in our hometown, even 50 years later.
Listening to King's speech once again is a much-needed reminder to set aside today's apathy and cynicism, and dream once again. In 1963, King called on the nation to put an end to racial bigotry, but his eloquent message propped up a bigger tent, big enough to include all minorities.
In front of 200,000 people he said, "I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.'"
As many have reiterated this week, America is still struggling to live up to that promise.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder summed it up perfectly: "As we gather today, 50 years later, their march now our march goes on. And our focus has broadened to include the cause of women, of Latinos, of Asian Americans, of lesbians, of gays, of people with disabilities, and of countless others across this country who still yearn for equality, opportunity, and fair treatment."
Today, Utah officials will join the rest of the country in commemorating the anniversary of the March on Washington with a celebration at the state Capitol Building in Salt Lake City. The Capitol bells will intone "We Shall Overcome" and Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert will sign a declaration honoring the day and the state's Martin Luther King, Jr. Human Rights Commission. The event will take place Wednesday, Aug. 28, from 12:30 p.m. to 1:10 p.m.
Those who can't attend are urged to join in by ringing church and school bells and, most of all, by renewing our commitment to mutual respect and equal justice for all.
In the words of Dr. King:
"When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every tenement and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old spiritual, 'Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last.'"