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  • Celebrating the 45Th Anniversary of the Martin Luther King Observance Committee

    by Representative Rodney P. Frelinghuysen

    Posted on 2015-01-13

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    FRELINGHUYSEN of new jersey in the house of representatives Tuesday, January 13, 2015 Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor the Martin Luther King Observance Committee, located in Morristown, New Jersey as it celebrates its 45th Anniversary.

    Since 1970, the Committee, under the leadership of Dr. Felicia B. Jamison, has engaged the involvement of the whole Morris County community in programs and services that commemorate the extraordinary life and accomplishments of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Each year, the Committee encourages the community to join together in celebrating the birth of Dr. King by promoting and preserving his legacy.

    January 19, 2015 marks the 30th year that Dr. King's birthday will be commemorated as a National Holiday. Dr. King would have turned 86 this year, calling all Americans to remember his incredible life, and the impact his legacy has had on the course of American history. Fifty-two years ago, Dr. King stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, here in our nation's capital, to deliver his famous ``I Have a Dream'' speech to those participating in the March on Washington. In his speech, which proved to be a defining moment in the Civil Rights Movement, Dr. King charged Americans, ``As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.'' In celebrating the life of Dr. King as a holiday each year, we renew our pledge to continue in his legacy and promote the complete equality of all people in this nation.

    Though it has only been a National Holiday for 30 years, the Martin Luther King Observance Committee has celebrated the birth of Dr. King for 45 years under the direction of Dr. Felicia B. Jamison. This year, to celebrate their anniversary in conjunction with Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the Committee will hold two events on January 19th. First, their 30th Annual Interfaith Breakfast will begin the day by gathering all members of the community in celebration, as well as reflection on the legacy left by Dr. King. Following the breakfast, the committee will hold their 45th Annual Service of Celebration, properly honoring the life accomplishments of Dr. King and his influence in the Civil Rights Movement.

    The Morris County community of all ages or economic status, of all religious persuasions, and of all political affiliations have recognized and acknowledged the invaluable contributions Dr. King has made to each and every American. That is why the theme of the Committee's celebration this year is appropriately titled ``The Dream is Freedom; The Outcome is A Community of Persons.'' Regardless of the various differences that define us, all Americans can recognize and celebrate the influential legacy of a great American, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Just last year, we celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, which you, Mr. Speaker, called possibly ``the most consequential piece of legislation'' in history. At the ceremony, Dr. King and Mrs. Coretta Scott King posthumously received a Congressional Gold Medal for their accomplishments. The [[Page E60]] Martin Luther King Observance Committee has expressed renewed encouragement in celebrating their 45th Anniversary, due to these awards recently presented to the Kings.

    I commend the members of the Martin Luther King Observance Committee, especially committee chair Dr. Felicia B. Jamison, for their dedication to promoting the rich legacy of the life and works of the Dr. King. Through the annual celebration of Dr. King's birth, the Committee has consistently demonstrated a dedication and commitment to advancing his philosophy and teachings.

    Mr. Speaker, I ask you and my colleagues to join me in congratulating the Martin Luther King Observance Committee as it celebrates its 45th Anniversary.


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