GOVERNOR DAVID A. PATERSON Honors Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“As a free nation chooses its heroes and heroines, a free nation interprets its history and shapes its destiny. The commemoration of the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose legacy we celebrate today, can help America light the world as a global model for democracy, economic and social justice, and the rule of law.

“As one of the most humane and dynamic leaders this country has ever seen, Dr. King’s efforts on behalf of all people sparked the conscience of his generation and continue to inspire those that follow. His courage and selfless devotion to freedom’s cause would take him from us – but not before he gave a piece of himself to so many.

“So today I ask: Where would Dr. King be at this moment? Perhaps in Haiti, helping the hundreds of thousands of victims whose lives were destroyed from the devastating earthquake; perhaps he would be helping to organize individuals facing unemployment or losing their homes due to the economic crisis; or perhaps he would be advocating for the thousands of Americans without health care. Wherever there was difficulty or wherever there was strife, that’s where Dr. King would be.

“On the 25th celebration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I hope that you will not only pause in harmonious celebration to keep his words alive, but you will live in the spirit of him and stand as a monument to such a bigger than life figure and such a remarkable man.”