Monday, January 17, 2011

Dr. Martin Luther King

This is a story written by my brother.  It is very good

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
By Charlie Wardle

In spring of 2001, I had a great opportunity to attend the National Industrial Technology Education conference in Atlanta Georgia. At the conference I was able to learn many new and exciting technology lessons for my tech classes. The big high light of the conference came one evening when my wife and I took a 5-mile walk to Martin Luther King Jr. grave site. We began our walk among the high rise buildings in downtown Atlanta. As we tool our walk down “black” Main Street of Atlanta we soon noticed that we had left behind all the new high rise building and were walking by a lot of older run down buildings. It was almost like we were going back in to the time of Dr. King, the man who had fought so hard for equal rights for all Americans.

When we arrived at Dr. King’s memorial I was very impressed with the sacredness of the gravesite and how well the memorial was put together. The grave site with an eternal flame burning was in the middle of a small man-made pond. Written on his tomb were the words from his famous speeches “Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty I’m free at last” As I stood there looking at his tomb I wondered. “Why did it take the death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for him to become free?”

            I remember when Dr. King was shot on April 4,1968. I was only living about 100 miles from Memphis, Tennessee in Carbondale, Illinois. School was let out early that day. My second grade teacher told us to stay home, because the Civil War might be starting all over again. I went home and stayed inside, wondering if something might happen. No violence or anything like that ever happened, because Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was not about violence. He was a man of peace, and his goal was to bring freedom equal rights to everyone, regardless of their race. School was let out for his funeral, which I watched the funeral on T.V. It was a very sad time for America, to have a strong leader lose his life trying to bring equality to all. His work has been carried on, since his death, and a lot of improvements have been made.

            After we had visited Dr. King’s grave site, on the long walk back to our hotel, I kept thinking of all the great things he had done, and how much work still needed to be done to help bring equal rights to everyone.

            As we got close to our hotel a black man approached us and asked how we had like Dr. King’s gravesite. I asked him how do you know we have been there. He replied, “I can always tell when someone has just visited Dr. King.” He then asked us “How will your visit with Dr. King change your life”?

            I have thought of this question many times since. I really hope I am treating everyone fairly, especially my students. I hope they feel welcome in my technology classes. Even though I do have to discipline some students sometimes I do really care about them. I want each of them to know this. I want them to do the best they can in their school work. I hope all of my students feel that I have given my very best to make their Technology Education classes a great learning experience.

    • Billy Wardle that is a good story

    • Billy Wardle Don't you remember the riots in Carbondale after Dr. King was murdered? I remember lots of fires, and a fire engine going around the train trestle one time to get to a fire. But it seems most of the burning took place in black neighborhoods, which I didn't understand.

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