All across America school was out today. It seems like there are so many days off from school these days, between holidays and weather related closures. This day was different. This day was necessary.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. dared to dream in the teeth of fierce resistance. As a result, he received threats, jail time and sacrificed his life. He could have lived a quiet life, settling for the status quo, but he dared to lead others.
That is why I use the holiday each year as a valuable opportunity to discuss the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with my children and to reiterate the importance that I personally place on service. We talk about the importance of serving many times throughout the year, but because the school system takes a pause, I believe that it places a little more impact on my words. As many of you know, children do not always take the words of their parents at face value…
This past week, ‘American Idol’ viewers were treated to a performance of the song “Pants on the Ground” written and performed by General Larry Platt. Not Larry Platt, as he reminded the judges gently, but General Larry Platt.
Many may have wondered when General Larry Platt served in the military and which campaigns the sixty-three year old may have been a part of. Thankfully, the power of Google allows us to take a closer look at the life and times of General Larry Platt.
Which campaigns did the General serve in? He proudly served in the Savannah, GA and Selma, AL campaigns. For you see, General Larry Platt received the nickname “General” from the late Rev. Hosea Williams for his dogged determination to the Civil Rights movement. He helped to organize SCLC sit-ins across the South and suffered battle wounds on the Bloody Sunday march from Selma to Montgomery.
September 4, 2001 was proclaimed “Larry Platt Day” in Atlanta because of “his great energy and commitment to equality and the protection of the innocent and for his outstanding service to the Atlanta community and the citizens of Georgia.”
The United States and the world are better off today because Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. dared to dream and dared to lead. We owe it to ourselves to share the story with our children, as they may also dare to dream and make a difference in their world and for generations to come.