The immortal words of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech are seared into us.
"I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up, live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.'"
"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."
Today, Aug. 28, is the 51st anniversary of King's rousing speech at the March on Washington. This anniversary is passing by with little fanfare, compared to last year's 50-year mark. But considering what's happening in Ferguson, Missouri, take time today to listen to King's entire speech (starting just after 1:05, above).
It's not just the usual sound bites we need to remember. Listen to all of it. Listen to King's dream for our nation, when people all races and faiths "transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood."
Fifty-one years later, we're not there yet. We can get there, but never by ignoring the deep-seated racial divides and daily injustices that still pervade the U.S.
"When we allow freedom to ring -- when we let it ring from every city 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, Great God almighty, we are free at last.'"