The dream lives on

I am proud to serve in the House of Representatives with my esteemed colleague Representative John Lewis from Georgia, who was one of the 13 original Freedom Riders and was severely beaten during the marches with Dr. King. From Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall to President Barack Obama, we have made tremendous strides as a nation to break through barriers and overcome injustices to fulfill Dr. King's dream.

"I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal." These words, spoken by Dr. King almost half a century ago, still ring true today.

Our nation has seen profound and positive changes in many ways; however, some of the hardest struggles still lie ahead of us. Many people of color in our country are still trapped in a widening economic gap. Young minority men throughout the United States, as in New York City, face disproportionately higher rates of joblessness and lack of education. Dreams of attaining higher education for children of immigrants remain elusive. We are seeing prejudice against newcomers, as well as Muslims, in our country. We have much to do as a nation to promote equality and justice for all.

Dr. King's Memorial rests in the middle of the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials. Dr. King shared President Lincoln and Jefferson's vision for freedom and liberty. He taught us not to be "satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream." As the first monument dedicated to a private citizen, The Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial serves as an everlasting reminder to our nation to carry on Dr. King's legacy of striving for a better tomorrow and a better America.


More from The Hill:
♦ Rep. Hastings: The struggle continues for King's dream
♦ Rep. Meeks: Making the dream a reality
♦ Rep. Clay: A memorial is not enough
♦ Rep. Clarke: Continuing to build the dream
♦ Rep. Conyers: Dr. King's dream of jobs, justice and peace
♦ Rep. Carson: A renewed call to positive action
♦ Rep. Bishop: Reflections on Dr. King's memorial
♦ Austin: Remembering the March for Jobs and Freedom