Take time today to honor King’s legacy

January 21, 2013 

YAY: REMEMBERING MLK

Today is time to reflect on what Martin Luther King Jr. called his Beloved Community, and then to transform those ideals into a day of service.

Although King was assassinated in 1968, it took Congress until 1983 to recognize this great American with a federal holiday marking his birthday. In 1994, Congress designated the third Monday of January as the MLK Federal Holiday and deemed it a national day of service.

It’s intended as a day to work together on solutions to social problems, make our communities stronger in some way and bridge the barriers that prevent us from making our world a better place.

King believed that if all people, who love freedom and justice, would apply the principles of nonviolence and live up to the promise and potential of the United States, we would eventually arrive at his Beloved Community.

It’s a time to remember that it is up to us, each individual, to aspire to Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream and make it a reality for every American.

YAY: STATE PATROL CHIEF

Among his first gubernatorial appointments, Gov. Jay Inslee reaffirmed that John Batiste would remain as chief of the Washington State Patrol. We applaud the appointment.

Batiste is a hands-on law enforcement officer, who came up through the ranks. The leadership of the state troopers’ union knows their chief is both tough and practical and, for purely political reasons proposed a replacement, from whom they expected to get more in contract negotiations.

We hope this indicates the new governor is willing to stand up to other state unions, if necessary.

BOO: OPENING PRAYER

Pastor Jon Sanne of Olympia’s Calvary Chapel knew exactly what he was doing when he offered the opening prayer in the state Senate chambers on Monday. By calling for a strengthening of marriage “as you (God) ordained, it, for our good and your glory,” he was making a political statement.

And Republican leader Mark Schoesler, who invited Sanne to deliver the invocation, probably expected, if not hoped for, such an inappropriate comment.

Sanne’s church is a well-known opponent of marriage equality. It helped fund last fall’s anti-Referendum 74 referendum campaign, and held a rally opposing marriage equality featuring one-time presidential candidate Rick Santorum.

The right to free speech aside, Sanne and Schoesler showed a lack of class.

BOO: MILITARY SUICIDES

It’s a crime that more military personnel died by their own hands in 2012 than in armed combat. Senior Pentagon officers have called suicides of active-duty service members an epidemic. It’s a result of more than a decade of war, exacerbated by repeated deployments.

The military must do more to protect the mental health of those who volunteer their lives in service to America.

YAY: RUSSELL WILSON

The Seattle Seahawks might not have gone to the Super Bowl this year, but they found their quarterback for the future. Short by National Football League standards, third-round pick Russell Wilson gave our NFL team a boost, elevating his game and taking the team to within 31 seconds of a conference championship game.

Just 48 hours later, Wilson lifted the spirits of 17-year-old David Padilla. The Timberline High School baseball star, currently in Seattle Children’s Hospital battling cancer, got a visit from the Seahawk.

Wilson is a class act.

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