Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the day the United States set aside to honor the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, the civil rights leader assassinated in Memphis in 1968. King is rightly remembered as the greatest civil rights leader in US history. Later in his career, from about 1965 until his death though, he was also a passionate opponent of the Vietnam War. Among his many quotes and speeches on war and peace this one stands out for me, "The bombs in Vietnam explode at home; they destroy the hopes and possibilities for a decent America." He was right too. The wars in Southeast Asia killed President Johnson's "Great Society" and set the tone for next 40 years in American politics. One side vowing not to repeat the mistakes of Vietnam, the other vowing to put Vietnam behind us and not learn from those mistakes.
For most of us, the King holiday is another day off from work. It should be day for introspection and reflection. Maybe a day to do some community volunteer work.