Those are the words that Martin Luther King Jr.’s youngest child, Bernice King, hoped would inspire the nation as people celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday.
Parades, marches, live performances and powerful church sermons were only a few of the ways King’s legacy was remembered and celebrated.
Bernice King set the tone for the celebrations as she announced the launch of the “Choose Nonviolence” campaign.
She explained that the campaign hoped to “expose, encourage, educate, engage and empower one million current, emerging and next-generational leaders to embrace Dr. King’s leadership philosophy” through the use of “social media, dialogues, summits, marketing campaigns and a global leadership initiative.”
As a part of the campaign, the King Center also called for a moratorium on violence and asked that no shots be fired – both literally and figuratively.
“Specifically, we are asking that there be no shots fired – no shooting off at the mouth with our tongue, no shooting off physically with our fists and no shooting off of any type of gun,” Bernice King wrote on the Huffington Post blog.
Meanwhile, hundreds of other celebrations were taking place across the country.
An enormous crowd gathered in Ebenezer Church in Atlanta, the same church where King once preached.
The special service led guests in prayer, featured live musical performances, and presented special guest speakers to commemorate King’s powerful impact.
Many people also wanted to make sure that the holiday focused on taking action to help push the country to a future where King’s dream can truly become a reality.
“I think that more than just saying kind thoughts about him, we ought to take action ourselves,” Deal said. “That’s how we embed truth into our words. I think it’s time for Georgia’s leaders to follow in Dr. King’s footsteps and take action, too.”
Deal also said that he would work with legislators throughout the year to come up with an appropriate way to truly honor King at the Georgia Capitol, although he didn’t have any specific details.
Celebrations of the King holiday reached far beyond the civil rights leader’s home state of Georgia.
In Memphis, Tenn., where King was assassinated, the National Civil Rights Museum played an audio recording of an interview with King that shared details of the phone conversation between President John F. Kennedy and King’s wife, Coretta
Even cities outside the South, like Los Angeles, celebrated King’s legacy with special parades and community service projects.