(TRENTON) – New Jersey General Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-Middlesex) released the following statement Wednesday commemorating the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s death:
“On this day in 1968 we lost one of our greatest civil rights leaders.
“It’s easy to forget that he was only 39 at the time of his death because he was so extraordinary.
“I see his example in the young people who have been galvanized into action and have led rallies and marches for the greater good. I hope they will continue to honor his legacy with their activism.
“This is a difficult time in our country. Division, mistrust and hatred are being propagated by the very institutions and people who should be bringing us together. Now more than ever, we need to hold on to the ideals professed by Dr. King, and like him, we need to be brave and steadfast in our convictions.
“We are better today than where we 50 years ago, but there is still a lot of work to do before we become the nation that Dr. King dreamed about. Structural racism, poverty and income inequality still plague our country. We all have a responsibility to see his vision of an equal and just America come to fruition.
“Dr. King said, ‘if you can’t fly, run. If you can’t run, walk. If you can’t walk, crawl, but by all means, keep moving.’
“These words are especially poignant right now. I encourage everyone to take heed of these words and make them their personal mantras. The only way we’re going to right the wrongs that persist in this country is by speaking up and taking action. Let’s all be more like the fearless Dr. King.”