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VA Medical Centers observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking at a podium

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

close up of the DC MLK Memorial at night


Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

Dr. King championed a movement that draws fully from the deep well of America’s potential for freedom, opportunity, and justice.

His vision of America is captured in his message of hope and possibility for a future anchored in dignity, sensitivity, and mutual respect; a message that challenges each of us to recognize that America’s true strength lies in its diversity of talents.

The memorial in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. captures the essence of his message, a message in which he so eloquently affirms the commanding tenets of the American Dream — Freedom, Democracy and Opportunity for All; a noble quest that gained him the Nobel Peace Prize and one that continues to influence people and societies throughout the world.

Upon reflection, we are reminded that Dr. King’s lifelong dedication to the idea of achieving human dignity through global relationships of well-being has served to instill a broader and deeper sense of duty within each of us — a duty to be both responsible citizens and conscientious stewards of freedom and democracy.

President Obama and others look up at the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial

President Obama and family at the Martin Luther King, Jr. monument

VA proudly joins the Nation in observing the late Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 83rd birthday.

On January 16, 2012, the nation will commemorate the 26TH anniversary of the National Federal holiday established in his honor. The national theme is:

“Remember! Celebrate! Act! A Day On, Not a Day Off!”

Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia and became the world’s foremost advocate of the 1960’s civil rights movement. Each year, on the third Monday of January, we celebrate a national holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

This observance honors the life and contributions of America’s greatest champion of racial justice and equality; the leader who dreamed of a color-blind society and, who helped to motivate and steer a powerful, transforming social movement.

“Remember! Celebrate! Act! A Day On, Not a Day Off!”

On more than one occasion, Dr. King stressed that the struggle was not one between people of different colors. He believed that the fight was a fight “between justice and injustice, between the forces of light and the forces of darkness.” His dream included all Americans equally. A new memorial to Dr. King, located in Washington, D.C. at the northeast corner of the Tidal Basin on the National Mall, will forever remind us of his life, legacy and dream.

On a daily basis, VA is in a position to carry on Dr. King’s legacy — his commitment to helping others.

Our Veterans and their families are our priority, and the employees who serve them are a valued resource. VA works to ensure equal opportunity is carried out in our Veterans programs and through hiring, promotion, and advancement of our diverse workforce.

Many VA Medical Centers have scheduled activities that will celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and honor his life and legacy.

The Atlanta VA Medical Center will be hosting a community service at their Community Living Center (CLC) for their residents throughout the week.

Employees have volunteered to assist CLC residents with Bingo and other board games. They are also there to read to the residents and to provide company and conversation.

The Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center in Muskogee, Okla., will celebrate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on January 12 during a remembrance program. The program theme is “I Live the Dream.”

For more information on Martin Luther King, visit The King Center’s website.