Honoring Martin Luther King, Jr.

January 18, 2011
Ambassador Roemer Commemorates MLK Day in India

About the Author: Timothy J. Roemer serves as U.S. Ambassador to India.

To commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday, I had a very enjoyable visit with a Dalit community in North Delhi. I walked through the narrow lanes, met with families, and spoke with community leaders from the National Confederation of Dalit Organizations. I even added "sweeping" to my job skills learned in India -- in addition to rickshaw driving and weaving.

Dr. King symbolizes civil rights in America. He changed the direction of our country so that only 40 years after his courageous struggle, an African-American could be elected to the highest office in America. Using Gandhi's teachings, Dr. King fought against discrimination, prejudice, and intolerance through civil disobedience and non-violent means. He was a champion for not only African-Americans, but also for the poor, the downtrodden, and the disadvantaged.

By honoring Dr. King, we honor all those who stand for peace, freedom, equality, and justice. One such person was Dr. Bhimrao Ambedkar, who fought for equal rights of the Dalit community like Dr. King fought for civil rights in America. These universal values are ones that the United States shares with India. It is these shared values that make the U.S.-India global partnership the "defining partnership of the 21st century."

Tell me who in your community is fighting for universal values!

You can learn more about India and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s legacy on U.S. Embassy New Delhi's YouTube Channel and view historic photographs of Dr. King in India on the embassy's Flickr Photostream.Related Entry:U.S. Celebrates 25th Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service



Cabo Verde
January 18, 2011

Patricia in Cape Verde writes:

I can`t believe how hypocritical this ambassador in india is...or maybe naive as any american. Shame. International shame regarding that usa " is " number 1 kontry. Will you study history for one time? Does he obey gov.strategies or is he rather dumb? Unbelievable! He speaks of lessons by MLK 40 years ago, and that usa has learnt?

May I ask WHAT?

Gary Z.
North Carolina, USA
January 18, 2011

Gary Z. in North Carolina writes:

On this occasion of the Martin Luther King Day of Service, one thing that should be done to honor Dr. King's legacy is ensuring that the Pentagon spend an adequate amount of money to recover the remains of our World War II missing in action, many of whom were African-Americans, such as the following MIA Tuskegee Airmen (courtesy of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch): Lt. Albert L. Young, F/O Carl J. Woods, Lt. William F. Williams Jr., Lt.Sherman H. White Jr., Lt. James R. Polkinghorne, F/O Leland H. Pennington, Lt. Andrew D. Marshall, Captain Andrew Maples Jr., Lt. Oscar D. Hutton Jr., Lt. Wellington G. Irving, Lt. Fred L. Brewer Jr., Lt. John H. Chavis, Capt. Alfonzo W. Davis, Capt. Lawrence E. Dickson, Lt. Maurice V. Esters, Lt. Samuel J. Foreman, Lt. Frederick D. Funderburg Jr., Lt. Samuel Jefferson, Lt. Charles B. Johnson, and Lt. Samuel G. Leftenant. The Defense Department has historically treated its MIA remains recovery program like a neglected stepchild, requesting a level of funding that is nowhere near the amount needed to recover the remains of the tens of thousands still missing. Please support substantially increased funding for location and recovery of the remains of our heroic missing Tuskegee Airmen, and all the other missing soldiers, sailors, and airmen. Their families deserve nothing less.

Gary Z.
Project Homecoming volunteer

District Of Columbia, USA
January 20, 2011

Anna in Washington, DC writes:

Thank you for honoring MLK! Who do I see fighting for universal values in my community? Teachers. They inspire me every day.


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