Tim Wieclawski/metro ottawa
"His vision was global, he spoke about beloved communities, and justice, freedom equality and hope."
This month, Martin Luther King Jr. would have turned 79 years old. His message, however, remains ageless.
Forty years ago, King — the American civil rights activist and Baptist minister — was killed by an assassin in Memphis, Tenn. Like countless cities in the United States and around the world, Ottawa officially celebrated Martin Luther King Day yesterday to remember a life that impacted not just the U.S., but the globe.
“His vision was global, he spoke about beloved communities, and justice, freedom equality and hope,” said Rev. Dr. Anthony Bailey, an organizer of Ottawa’s Martin Luther King Day event at city hall.
Bailey said remembering King is intended to kindle a commitment locally to a way of life that would advance King’s dream of a world in which all peoples co-exist harmoniously, as equals.
Jean Augustine, Ontario’s Fairness Commissioner, applauded the city for recognizing Martin Luther King Day. She urged Ottawans to embrace the theme of the day, celebrate King’s work, and inspire youth to take up the cause and act on his message.
The issues that Martin Luther King addressed — like poverty, racism, social justice and equality — remain relevant today, she said.
As a “wonderfully multicultural city,” Mayor Larry O’Brien said Ottawa shares the beliefs and ideas proposed by King.