DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, A TRIBUTE, by Michael Wilson
On this day when we celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, it is compelling to remember his courage and his character in peaceably acting to close the racial divide and to bring justice to people of color. Sadly, we are also compelled to compare his herculean, honest, honorable and selfless efforts with the dishonest, dishonorable and self-serving activities of those living off of his legacy today, as they destroy it. That includes the "Progressive" Democrat Party whose members use his people dishonorably to build voter blocs. Also many of them use his legacy to enrich themselves, to gain political advantage and for other nefarious purposes. =JAM, editor/owner
By Michael Wilson, honorable in his own right
On Martin Luther King, Jr's birthday, let us consider courage.
There is physical courage; that which motivates a soldier to fix his bayonet and assault up a hill, or for someone to dive into a raging river in an attempt to save a fellow human being.
There is another kind of courage; that which moves one to take an unpopular course when there is no support other than one's own internally driven sense of what is morally right. This quality moves one to support an unpopular person or cause in the face of widespread condemnation or contempt because one thinks that it is what he or she ought to do. A student who stands up for a bullied fellow student, facing the jeers and mockery of his peers, shows this kind of courage. It is undertaken on one's own, or with minimal support from friends, and in the face of the group hostility from others.
For those not familiar with my career, and to establish my right to speak to such matters, I fought in combat units in two wars. I have been shot, shot down and shot at. I never experienced a moment of fear when the shooting began. Adrenaline and training take over. For me, and for many I have known who followed such a life, fear came when we had time to contemplate possibilities. Death, with its loss of loved ones and the missed items on the bucket list. In my case, after seeing the multiple amputees during my stint in an orthopedic ward in the 106th General Hospital having my shot up right shoulder cobbled back together, fear of being so maimed. Fear of the loss of still more good friends and comrades, or the prospect that one's leadership failures might cause or contribute to such deaths. The prospect of facing the families of these friends, complicated by the fact that we had survived when these men had died.
So consider if you can and will, as I do every time I think of this great and wonderful man, the sublime mix of physical and moral courage he showed daily. Consider the moral courage shown in facing the hatred of so many with quiet equanimity, and with love and compassion. Mostly though, consider what a man must be to get up every morning, shave and shower, dress in coat and tie, and calmly walk out to face the bullet that finally ended his life. It did not come on day one, or day one hundred. It came after years of the daily challenge to overcome fear; the essence of courage; and it never wavered.
Rest in well deserved peace, Dr. King. We who appreciate your special kind of courage salute you.