Today, I join my fellow Virginians in honoring the life and the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.. Dr. King was committed to realizing the principles defined in our Declaration of Independence - that all of us are created equal and endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights.
As President Ronald Reagan said years ago in celebrating Dr. King's life:
There are moments in history when the voice of one inspired man can echo the aspirations of millions. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was such a man. To America he symbolized courage, sacrifice, and the tireless pursuit of justice too long denied. To the world he will be remembered as a great leader and teacher, a man whose words awakened in us all the hope for a more just, more compassionate society.
He dreamed of an America in which our children 'will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character,' and he reminded us that 'injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. His time among us was cut tragically short, but his message of tolerance, nonviolence, and brotherhood lives on.
Dr. King's passion for freedom, faith, and opportunity for all people are timeless principles that will always guide us 'until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.'