By Senator Kent Williams
On January 20, 2020, our country will celebrate the birthday of civil rights leader, minister and humanitarian Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Across the nation, Americans will mark the occasion with speeches and rallies. Many are choosing to honor the life and legacy of King by serving others in their neighborhoods and communities.
King once remarked, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others.” His nonviolent struggle included efforts to address the issue of poverty. And, appropriately, the King holiday is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service. The holiday is “A day on, not a day off!” The slogan reminds us of the day’s purpose.
In a proclamation honoring King and marking the observance of the holiday, Barack Obama stated, “Every year, Americans mark this day by answering Dr. King’s call to service.” the proclamation goes on to state, “In keeping with Dr. King’s example, let us embrace the belief that our destiny is shared, accept our obligations to each other and to future generations, and strengthen the bonds that hold together the most diverse Nation on earth.”
Legislation was signed in 1983 creating a federal holiday to mark the birthday of King, the slain civil rights leader. The holiday, commemorated on the third Monday in January, was first observed in 1986. In 1994, Congress designed the holiday as a national day of service and charged the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency responsible for volunteering and service, with leading the effort. CNCS seeks to use the holiday as a reminder to bring the nation together to address some of our common concerns such as improving education, assisting our veterans and military families and helping our communities recover from disasters. Participating in service projects, not only, honor King’s legacy but benefit communities. Consider how service can become an integral and necessary part of your community’s recovery. The King National Day of Service urges all Americans to participate in the country’s recovery through service. In light of recent events in our state, service to our community is still needed. King, in a 1968 sermon entitled the “Drum Major Instinct,” reminded us that “Everybody can be great because everybody can serve.” Take an opportunity to be like King and be great. We can strive to be great every day by placing the needs of others ahead of ourselves.
It is an honor to serve you in Columbia, and I am grateful for your continued support. As with all matters concerning state government, I want to hear your opinions and suggestions concerning these issues. Please contact me in my Columbia office located at 602 Gressette Office Building. You can reach me, or a member of my staff in Columbia at (803) 212-6008 or by fax at (803) 212-6011. My district office is located at 1305 North Main Street, Marion, SC 29571, the phone number is (843) 423-8237 and the fax number is (843) 431-6049. You may also email me at [email protected]
As always, I also want to supply you with my business phone number so that you will able to reach me easily at any time. My business phone is (843) 423-3904. Please use this information to write, call or email me with your suggestions and concerns regarding issues before the Senate and in our community.
By Senator Kent Williams