Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr spoke to the Martin Luther King Jr Commemoration Service at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church today. Below are the prepared remarks of his text:
It is truly an honor to be invited to be a part of the celebration of the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 88th birthday.
To be able to stand before you in this historic church to publicly honor this great man and this native son of Georgia is truly a humbling experience.
Georgia is very lucky to have this church and this King Center and — most importantly — this legacy of Dr. King, Coretta Scott King, and so many others who served on the front lines of the Civil Rights movement.
Georgia and America owe a debt of gratitude to all of them for their incredible strength, bravery, and perseverance in the brutal struggle they faced.
My generation – every generation — must dedicate itself to learning the lessons from the Civil Rights movement.
We must recognize the progress that has been made, yet acknowledge the challenges that still face us as a nation.
If we are to continue to be the strongest nation – the most free nation – the best nation on earth – we must know our history and remember those lessons.
And when our nation is faced with challenges — in whatever form they may come — we all must work as one community — one Georgia — one America – to uphold and protect the principles of the Constitution and to protect the promise of life and liberty for all of our citizens.
In December 1956, Dr. King gave a speech before the first Annual Institute on Non-Violence and Social Change. During that speech, he made this profound statement:
“But the end is reconciliation; the end is redemption; the end is the creation of the beloved community.
“It is this type of spirit and this type of love that can transform opposers into friends.
“It is this type of understanding good will that will transform the deep gloom of the old age into the exuberant gladness of the new age.
“It is this love which will bring about miracles in the hearts of men.”
As your Attorney General, I will strive to meet each and every day this principle espoused by Dr. King.
Let me close with the note that my daughter Mary Clifton Carr wrote at the King Center back in 2011 when she was 6 years old.
Mary Clifton had asked me to take her to see where Dr. King was born because her first-grade class was studying him in school.
After we toured the King Center, Mary Clifton wanted to write her own note in the guest book before we left.
I looked over her shoulder as my 6-year-old wrote, “Thank you, Dr. King, for all the good things you did for us. Love, Mary Clifton.”
Today, I join my daughter in saying….Thank you, Dr. King.