Monday, January 16, 2012

Missouri Lt. Governor Kinder urges day of service to commemorate King'slegacy

Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder Press Releases

January 12, 2012

Lt. Governor Kinder urges day of service to commemorate King'slegacy

JEFFERSON CITY – Lt. Governor Peter Kinder is encouraging all Missourians to participate in a day of service to their communities in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday, Jan. 16.
"The example of Dr. King, his vision and his work across this nation remain a constant reminder of a life filled with purpose,” Kinder said. “It is my hope that Dr. King’s extraordinary example will continue to be a model for all people in the spirit of service to our neighbors.

On Monday, Kinder will attend a humanitarian luncheon at noon at the Salvation Army in his hometown of Cape Girardeau. Attendees are asked to donate canned goods, nonperishable items, toiletries and school supplies for local food pantries and other agencies.

In 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed into law legislation that created Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in commemoration of the civil rights leader’s birth on Jan. 15. In 1994, Congress passed the King Holiday and Service Act designating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as a national day of volunteer service, and in 1995, Congress began encouraging Americans to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day by serving their neighbors and communities.

This is the 10th year Missouri lawmakers also will break the legislative session on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. As President Pro Tem of the Missouri Senate, Kinder and then-Speaker of the House Catherine Hanaway made the change to commemorate King. Although that motion failed, Kinder said Tuesday "this effort is not over."

"This day is not just a holiday from work; it's a day to reflect on Dr. King’s dream and how we might continue what he sought in his stead," Kinder said. “At the heart of Dr. King’s work, the ideals of public service and self sacrifice became the foundation of his hope for our nation."
Last year, hundreds of thousands of Americans marked the 25th anniversary of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday by joining with their neighbors to address pressing social and economic problems in their communities.

More than 40 years after his death, America still faces many of the same challenges Dr. King faced during his lifetime – poverty, hunger, illiteracy, youth violence and a dropout crisis. Organizations throughout the country are using the MLK Day of Service to engage volunteers to address these challenges, both on the holiday and throughout the year.

"We must remember from where we have come, and with that, acknowledge how far yet we have to go," Kinder added. “Together, we will continue to further the efforts started by Dr. King. We will continue work to lay the foundations of peace, liberty and justice for those who are oppressed. Dr. King was a true and genuine inspiration for all, and his legacy is to be emulated, as he hoped for a better nation brought about by diligence, open minds and strong spirits."

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