Let freedom ring! And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring... when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”With those inspiring words, Martin Luther King ended his most famous speech, about 45 years ago, in Washington, D.C. As we honour Dr King today, we may think about tomorrow, when, some 45 years later, we’ll take one more stride toward the dream he outlined in the speech.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.
Tomorrow, on the other side of The Mall, we’ll inaugurate a new president, and a new kind of president: one with darker skin, different facial features, and a different ethnic background from those we’ve been used to before. One we’ve judged, as a nation of voters, not by the colour of his skin, but by the content of his character, and by our trust in him to do the job effectively and with integrity.
We aren’t finished; perhaps we’ll never be finished with our push for equality. But with something that would have been unthinkable in 1963 having come to pass in 2008, we’ve taken another large stride.