Just a few feet from the Korean War Memorial in Washington stands a poetic tribute to Martin Luther King Jr, whose work advanced the cause of equal rights during the Civil Rights Movement in the US.
The federal and state celebration tomorrow of Martin Luther King Day comes no further away from a false bomb threat from Korea, which appears to have triggered US ballistic missile warnings in Hawaii this weekend, than MLK’s monument is from the one for the Korean War, where visitors are reminded as follows:
Our nation honors her sons and daughters who answered the call to defend a country they never knew and a people they never met.
Most Americans, I would say, probably won’t ever go to Korea, North or South. But as King said in Alabama, “If we are to have peace on Earth, our loyalties must become ecumenical, rather than sectional. Our loyalties must transcend our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation; and this means we must develop a world perspective.”
The above speech, given in Oslo, Norway, as King accepted the Nobel Prize, refers more to civil rights and equality for all people than it does to education. It’s also interesting to note that Norway was one of the countries that joined the US as an ally in the Korean War about a decade before King spoke those words.