A Day of Remembrance and Reflection
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By Iride Aparicio

(Based on a Press Release by Katherine Chesson
Vice President, Porams Partnerships
National Parks Foundation)

Silicon Valley-- Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a day dedicated to honor the life, work, and legacy of the renowned Civil rights leader, but according to Chesson, it is a day of reflection, learning and service because Dr. King's message was both American and universal, because freedom, equality justice and love, are what he expected from us to carry forward his legacy.

Known simply as "M.L.' by his family, it was in these surroundings of home, church and neighborhood that Martin Luther King, Jr. experienced his childhood.


Just past noon on January 15, 1929, a son was born to the Reverend and Mrs. Martin Luther King in an upstairs bedroom of 501 Auburn Avenue, in Atlanta Georgia. The couple named their first son after Rev. King, but he was simply called "M.L." by his family.
During the next 12 years, this fine two story Victorian home is where "M.L." would live with his parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles and their borders.

The home is located in the residential section of "Sweet Auburn", the center of black Atlanta. Two blocks west of the home is Ebenezer Baptist Church, the pastorate of Martin's grandfather and father.  It is there that "M.L." learned about family and Christian love, segregation in the days of "Jim Crow" laws, diligence and tolerance. It was to Ebenezer Baptist Church that Dr. Marin Luther King, Jr. would return in l960 as a co-pastor with his father, and where he would preach about love, equality and non-violence.

You can learn more about Dr. King's legacy through a virtual visit to the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park in Atlanta or honor those like King who advanced the civil rights movement at the Selma-to-Montgomery national historic Trail.

You can also virtually visit one of more of the nearly 30 sites across the country that make the African American Civil Rights Network, located in Alabama and Washington D.C. and in other sites across the county, from Rhode Island, to California.

At the end of her message Katherine Chesson remind us that we are truly fortunate to have so many National Park Service sites that keep the stories of the Civil Rights Movement alive for future generations.