LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — On this day, we honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for his stand for equal treatment for all people, for his dream of a land where all people have the same opportunities regardless of their background, religion, skin color, or national origin. Just over 50 years after his speech proclaiming freedom for his own people as well as people of all nationalities, America has reached a plateau of equality unsurpassed by other nations.
Because of Dr. King’s mission, people from all national origins who are American citizens can cast their vote or run for those very offices they vote for. Because of Dr. King’s dream, we can celebrate unity of people from all different walks of life without fear of retribution. Because of Dr. King’s dream, America has evolved into a land where opportunity is within reach if one strives toward a common goal of success.
But even after 50 years, America has fallen back on the promises that it once held for the people who call it home. It has evolved into a land where, although freedom prevails, politics and personal gains dictate the movement of our government. Passing fads are accepted without question while those who support the tried-and-true policies that mark this nation’s past successes are challenged for upholding the traditions they value.
The hard work ethic that marked the survival of the settlers of this country has been replaced by a society that expects handouts, paid from the dividends of those who contribute to the workforce and tax base. Discipline and respect have dissolved into a world of no fear due to no consequences.
Like Dr. King, I too have a dream for this great country. I envision a world where a days’ work is honored with a days’ pay in a manner that allows those families to achieve the American Dream. I hope for a world in which our government rewards those who contribute positively to society and those who lack motivation bear the consequences of their actions. I hope for a world in which victims receive restitution and offenders fear retribution. I envision a world where morals and discipline are paramount. I support a society that honors the individual but respects their differences. I have a dream that while we honor the traditions of each nationality of American citizens that we also adhere to the traditions that made this country the ideal of other nations.
I dream of a land that cherishes its natural resources but channels them in a productive quality that creates jobs rather than increasing unemployment. I envision a country that encourages independence from government intervention into the numerous aspects of our society by providing the security and self-worth entitled to every person.
Our nation continues an uphill battle to retain the message established by our forefathers. Our nation continues to struggle with a changing society that clouds the future for our children and our grandchildren.
But without faith, without hope, we are nothing. It is only through faith and diligence and perseverance that we can continue our quest to set this nation as the leader of equality and opportunity. And until we dedicate ourselves — each and every person — to that mission, our message is mute upon the eyes and ears of the world.
I have a dream . . .