Coed, independent, PK3-12th grade school in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday
by Mike Murphy, Headmaster
Most, if not all of our children know that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a leader of the non-violent Civil Rights Movement in the early 1960s. Do they know that in 1983 President Ronald Reagan signed an annual holiday celebrating Dr. King into law? Do they know it took three years before the holiday was celebrated? And do they know that it was not until the year 2000 that all 50 states agreed to acknowledge the holiday? Most importantly, I hope they explore and come to understand the WHY of the above facts.
I remain optimistic for our country and our world. I believe the words of the founding fathers in the Declaration of Independence ring true for most Americans.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness…”
We are aware that as our nation has matured the definition of “all men” has expanded to include women, African Americans, and others who were not treated as equals when the founding fathers penned those famous and important words. Yet, we have not reached the vision of the founding fathers. Therefore, the MLK Jr. holiday - the marches, prayer meetings, and day of service activities - are as important today as they were in 1983, when the holiday was signed into law by President Reagan.
Members of the Shorecrest community will participate in the St. Petersburg Martin Luther King, Jr. Parade as we have for the past six years. Experiential, Lower and Middle School families make this a family event. The school provides a bus so that walkers can take a break along the parade route. Upper School students often join the parade before heading to a day of service activities.
I encourage Shorecrest families to join with other community members to use this holiday for the reason it was initiated. It is an honor to join other community organizations to celebrate the civil rights leaders of the past and to preserve the dream for future generations. If you have never attended, I assure you that the energy of the parade participants and the thousands of people who will line the streets of St. Petersburg will drive home the importance of this special holiday. This is a great opportunity to respect the civil rights leaders from the past and to keep Dr. King’s dream of equality and freedom alive for all of us.