Preserving The Legacy: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

It is on this day that America pauses to reflect on the life and legacy of a great leader and an amazing citizen, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The impact that his example made on generations of people is so profound that it cannot be fully explained in words.

Dr. King worked for the equal rights of all people regardless of skin tone or what they looked like, he also embraced a peaceful and diplomatic approach to change. His words and his actions were guided by Christian ideals and centered on love and hope conquering fear and hate.

The America that we live in today is very different because of the actions of Dr. King, and the civil rights movement that he and some other leaders inspired. It is a country that has such incredible potential and though we have made strides, like any society we have room for improvement and growth.

On a personal level, I have always had an affinity and respect for Dr. King and for his approach to tackling such fierce opposition and his courage in the face of unbelievable personal attacks. His Letter From A Birmingham Jail was a book that impacted my life very significantly. I put myself in his place and could not imagine the emotions he must have dealt with at that stage of his life.

Many of you also know that on Martin Luther King Day four years ago I decided to start this blog, Frank’s Forum, I made the determination to go out on my own and start a new business. I also made the choice to begin to write more pieces for the general public and really put myself out there into the world.

I remember having some fear about it, but then I thought of all that Dr. King faced and had to deal with in his life. I remember that being the inspiration for me to get beyond my own fears, which seemed so insignificant in comparison, and to hit the “publish” button on this blog.

In the years since, I have been blessed to have produced written work that has been published in over 40 countries throughout the world. I have been blessed that this blog has had posts distributed in shared globally as well. I have been invited to write my own blogs for several websites and to contribute news stories on a variety of subjects.

In the years since, I have been fortunate to write about important issues such as: Hurricane Sandy, corporate mergers, the GMO debate, environmental issues, factors impacting our food supply, the Flint water disaster, the refugee crisis, the war in Syria, and to raise awareness of diseases such as Scleroderma.

In the years since, I have been blessed to write about the plight of the honeybee, the Clean Air legislation, and issues facing veterans of foreign wars. In addition, I have been fortunate and humbled to contribute work to major websites and to cover my favorite sports teams and topics facing the sports that I love to watch and write about, which has been very fun to undertake.

In the years since, I have published articles in the Catholic media area which have inspired and encouraged others. I have also shared my creative work in publishing poems to this blog, a major poetry site, and in publishing a collection of poems on Amazon which is entitled The Promise of Tomorrow.

I never thought it could be as successful as it has been, but my leap and my belief in myself has taken me to places I never expected. I only dreamed of having some of this come true, and I am honored and humbled that it has taken me down the roads that it has in the last four years.

I will continue to work to share with you, the audience, stories that inspire and provide you hope. I will continue to work to help others to embrace the Christian ideals of love for one another, and still fervently believe that we all can live together in peace.

I will continue to work to preserve the legacy of Dr. King, so that one day, his dream for America can be realized. Thank you all for your tireless support and I hope this story inspires you to make a difference in your neighborhoods and your communities. May God bless you.

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I have been reflecting throughout the course of the day today, as our nation pauses to remember the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on my earliest memories of this great man. My first recollection is in learning of his famous “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington D.C. on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. I recall, as a young boy, being so mesmerized by his oratory presence, and thought the speech was powerful yet eloquent at the same time.


The next series of memories I have is of Selma and the march in that town in the Deep South and as a boy, being so profoundly moved by the resilience of the people and the movement; while at the same time being horrified by the images of police brutality and the unabashedly evil policies of the Jim Crow laws. I could not imagine a place where everything was separated for people on the basis of their skin color. I could not believe as a child, and still cannot believe it as a man, that those hateful policies could happen in America.


The “Freedom Riders” movement has always struck a chord with me, the bravery of those men and women to stand up for what they believed in despite the serious consequences, that type of courage is inspiring. However, at the same time, it was wrong on so many levels that our society had devolved into that situation in the first place. Dr. King said it repeatedly, that if we all treated each other as sisters and brothers, none of those terrible events would ever have had to take place, our society would never had allowed itself to be degraded into such barbaric policies and behaviors.


When I was older, I remember reading Dr. King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” one summer when I was home from school. I was struck with how poised and succinct his writing was during what must have been incredibly difficult conditions during his confinement in a small prison cell. I recall being drawn to his methods of nonviolence because I do not believe that violent behavior of any kind is acceptable, nor is it a capable way of resolving any dispute.


In the years since that summer night, I have worked in jobs where I had this day off and others where I had to work on Martin Luther King Day. In the years where I had to work, I would always listen to a recording of his famous speeches on my commute into work in the car. It was a small way in which I would pause and remember and reflect on Dr. King’s remarkable life.


I went to the National Civil Rights Museum with my wife one hot summer day in Memphis several years ago, and I recall feeling so many emotions at one time. I felt a profound sadness when we saw the suite where Dr. King was assassinated that April evening so many years before. I felt regret because I realized that while some things had changed in the area of race relations in America, not much had changed at all.


Even still today, almost fifty years after the death of Dr. King, we still have so much room to progress in race relations in our country. I am deeply saddened by the inequalities that still divide our society, our educational system, and our socio-economic structure. The events of the past six months are evidence that we have a long way to go with progressing toward a better tomorrow for all Americans.


I return to Dr. King and his position towards nonviolence as the best way to progress towards further advancements in these issues which still divide our society. I think we can all agree that his movement to promote peace between all races should still be the model utilized in order to make that progress today.


On a personal level, I was at a crossroads in my life at one point, around this time of the year, and it was in remembering the extraordinary life and remarkable courage of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that I made a bold decision in my own life. I have not regretted making it ever since.


In the end, I hope that one day the dream of Dr. King can be realized and we can all live together in peace and harmony. It is possible, and it is by honoring and remembering Dr. King that I hope our society can move ever closer to that ultimate goal; and by revisiting the Judeo-Christian core values of our country and loving each other as sisters and brothers that it will become a reality.