Dr. King's inspiration rememberedThis month -- 131 years...

the Forum

January 06, 1994

Dr. King's inspiration remembered

This month -- 131 years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation and 40 years after the Supreme Court banned school segregation -- the United States will be celebrating and remembering the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King.

It is interesting to note that the only other American honored by a national holiday is George Washington.

Although Dr. King's birthday is Jan. 15, our nation will be honoring and remembering him the entire month. It is only fitting and proper that we do this.

We honor Dr. King not because he was black, but because he was a great American.

Dr. King gave his life so that others all over America would have a better life. He was 39 years old at the time of his assassination -- April 3, 1968, in Memphis, Tenn.

He first came to national attention when he led and brought to a successful end a bus boycott in Alabama, which in the final analysis allowed Negroes to sit anywhere on buses.

Dr. King was involved in hundreds of civil rights marches and demonstrations and was responsible for desegregating hundreds of bus terminals, lunch counters and housing projects.

His philosophy was one of non-violence. He took the idea from the transcendentalist writer Henry Thoreau and shaped it to meet conditions of the contemporary demands. Dr. King saw the civil rights struggle of the 1960s as an extension of the American Civil War (1861-1865).

At the age of 35, Dr. King received the Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent efforts to gain more rights for all Americans. He was a model in what is best in all Americans: fair play, honesty and a belief in the majesty of the law.

In 1963, he led more than 100,000 Americans to Washington, where he gave his famous "I have a dream" speech.

His dream was that all Americans would one day live in a land which would judge them not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

Dr. King and his works will live as a testimonial to man's ability to rise to new heights and work for the betterment of his fellow man.

Let us all honor him by working to bring peace and harmony to pTC all, so that perhaps the words which he was so fond of quoting -- "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal" -- will one day become a reality.

John A. Micklos

Baltimore

One vote

For the record, Frank A. DeFilippo's Dec. 23 Other Voices column regarding the agencies controlled by Comptroller Jacqueline F. McLean misstated that she has control over the municipal retirement systems.

In fact, the comptroller has only one vote on each retirement board. There are seven and nine on each respective retirement board.

Ernest J. Glinka

Baltimore

The writer is the administrator of the Baltimore Retirement Systems.

Gas too cheap

I have come to the conclusion that Maryland gas prices are too low, based on the outrageous number of times I have seen unattended cars with their engines still running in various Baltimore parking lots, such as the post office, grocery store, etc.

Obviously, the owners of these cars are not concerned with the amount of gas they are wasting, not to mention the amount of pollution they are generating or whether their car is stolen while they are away.

The most outrageous instances are the ones at gas stations. Not only is it an explosion hazard, isn't putting gas in a running car like pouring water into a leaky bucket? Surely, turning a car off and on is not a difficult thing to do.

Maybe these people want Baltimore to become another smog-filled city like Los Angeles, or they think the Chesapeake Bay isn't polluted enough already.

What does it take for some people to realize that their actions affect other people and the world and actually care that it does?

In Europe, drivers are required to turn off their engines whenever they are stopped for any length of time, including while waiting for a train to pass.

Is passing such a law the only way to stop unnecessary pollution and waste in America? Must it always take government regulation to force people to do the right thing or can people actually govern themselves?

Or should someone make gas prices so high people will treat it like the dwindling (and destructive) resource it is?

Thank goodness I'm moving back to Minnesota, where the citizens actually take care of their state.

Good luck, Maryland. It's not too late to change.

Lauri L. Mueller

Baltimore

Sense of duty

I am a retired government employee living in the city. Unlike many people, I was pleased when I received my notice for jury duty since I have the time and inclination to serve.

Three days before Christmas, approximately 150 good citizens of Baltimore gathered in the Courthouse for our one day or one trial. Although none of us was called to serve, an incident occurred which reaffirmed my faith in the system.

While sitting in the jury waiting room, reading day-old newspapers and six-month-old magazines, I noticed, to my great surprise, Sen. Paul Sarbanes was one of our panel.

I could not believe that a U.S. senator, who I'm sure could have had himself easily excused, would spend the day waiting to be called like the rest of us.

As we were leaving I asked him why he was there, and he said, "It's my civic duty."

I may not agree with everything Senator Sarbanes does in the Senate but I must commend him for his example of civic responsibility and democratic principles.

Thomas D. Bolita

Baltimore

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