Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was designated by Congress in 1994 as the first and only federal holiday observed as a national day of service.
On this year's observation, Monday, Jan. 15, federal, state and local leaders will once again join citizens in honoring Dr. King's legacy through volunteerism addressing pressing community needs. Americans will donate their time, energy, work and other resources to a variety of service projects. There will be food and clothing drives, rebuilding homes damaged by natural disasters, providing services for veterans and military families and much more. Many Americans, especially volunteer emergency responders, will continue to be on-call as they are 365 days of the year. There can be no finer tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr.'s legacy.
For inspiration throughout the other 364 days in the year, in a world of Tweets and rapid sound bites, let us turn to MLK's encouragement. The wisdom, compassion and call-to-service of Martin Luther King, Jr. is evident in many of his quotations. Relatively short sentences, but powerful words that inspire, uplift and motivate our society – I hope you derive the sense of brotherhood that I do when I read them. I hope you will share them, especially with young folks.
"Everybody can be great ... because anybody can serve."
"Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'"
"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."
"Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend."
"If you can't fly, then run, if you can't run, then walk, if you can't walk, then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward."
"Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice."
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."
"If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way."
Senator John E. Brooks represents portions of Nassau and Suffolk Counties including Baldwin/Baldwin Harbor, Bellmore, North Bellmore, South Farmingdale, East Farmingdale, Freeport, Massapequa, Massapequa Park, East Massapequa, Merrick, North Merrick, Roosevelt, Seaford, and Wantagh in Nassau County, and Amityville, North Amityville, Copiague, Lindenhurst, North Babylon, West Babylon, Wyandanch and Wheatley Heights in Suffolk County.