Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a time when we celebrate and remember a man who saw the wrongs in the world and fought to change them. It is important to look back on all that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has done for the advancement of civil rights, as well as all the injustices he helped put to an end. 

“I always have in the back of my mind how important his participation in the civil rights movement was that got me my rights today,” junior Kalea Moore said. 

The holiday gives the world a chance to acknowledge what Martin Luther King Jr. has done for minorities across the U.S. Although many people may celebrate this day differently either by attending parades in his honor or taking a moment of silence, his impacts on African American rights will not be forgotten. 

“I believe the best way to honor him is just in conversation by discussing his contribution and making sure everyone takes a moment to show respect,” biomedical teacher Gail D’arco said.

Throughout his life, MLK accomplished vital milestones in the civil rights movement of his time. He helped African Americans gain the right to vote, to ban discrimination based on race and help put an end to segregation. Due to his efforts in fighting for a better future, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, the youngest person to win the award in his time. 

“Through the actions of MLK, I will be able to do things such as vote and find a good job that my ancestors struggled to do,” Moore said. 

By the time MLK was out of college, he pursued a career as a Baptist minister and was inspired by the idea of spreading love and understanding to the world. Not only did he have outstanding leadership skills, a brilliant education and an ideology to spread equality throughout the world, he also had courage.

“It’s one thing to live a good life and stand up for what you believe in,” D’arco said. “But to put yourself out there the way he did to risk your life is on another level.” 

Unlike many other civil rights leaders throughout history, MLK believed in fighting the injustices that minorities faced with peaceful protests and through the use of words. With these principles, he was able to fight hate with love and become an inspiration to generations. 

“MLK is definitely an inspiration for me,” freshman Yeilene Guzman said. “The way he was able to move crowds with his speeches and help end racial segregation without violence is admirable.” 

It is valuable to be reminded of everything MLK has accomplished and the millions he has inspired by honoring his legacy and continuing in his footsteps. By standing against the wrongs and injustices in the world, we can help bring MLK’s dream of equality for everyone come true. 

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter,” Martin Luther King Jr. said.