There was so much more than speeches or petitions that led to the dismantling of a segregated United States. Many sacrificed much, some even their lives, for the advancement of freedom and equality. King was a symbol of that sacrifice, both in life and in death. He sacrificed for civil rights, for racial equality, and for economic equality.
Today, almost 46 years after King was gunned down on the balcony of a Memphis motel, much has changed. Barack Obama, a mixed-race American, is president of the United States. Who would have believed that in 1968?
But there is still much to accomplish. King himself would have said so. Prejudice, inequality, and persecution for differing beliefs still occur in this country. Despite having come so far, there are still many miles to travel down the road to true equality.
King’s dream is within reach, but it is not fulfilled. Americans must continue down the trail King and others blazed a half century ago.