Remembering the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Our nation just paused to remember the life and times of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

King was one of — if not the greatest voices — for civil equality in the United States of America, and somehow, he only spent 39 short years on this planet.

He was gunned down in the prime of his life on an awful April day in 1968.

And of all ironies, his wasn’t the last assassination of 1968 as just two months later, Sen. Robert Francis Kennedy would be cut down by bullets following a speech he gave at Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.

Both men championed for equality in the country — both taken away way too soon. Be we look to King today just days after he would have turned 90.

One would have hoped that all King wanted to see disappear in the world — mostly, hatred — would be a thing of the past by now. Sadly, we’re seeing just how prevalent hatred truly is in the modern world, whether it’s through terrorist attacks, injustices because of a person’s skin color, bullying on a school ground, and so on.

All that King dreamed of seeing eliminated in 1963 when he gave his “I Have a Dream” speech still, somehow, exists to this very day.

For whatever the reason, over the last few years, it seems this country that had taken a few steps forward again is taking far too many steps back.

One of the reasons why this has happened ó there truly isn’t a voice of reason, like Dr. King’s, today. There’s no one we can turn to when things don’t make sense. Fifty-one years after his death, Dr. King was never really replaced. And that’s not to say there’s no one out there who could ever command the following King had.

But it is also a reminder of just how important he was not just in the 1950s and 1960s, but even today, more than a half-century since he lived on this Earth.

And so, just a few days after his birthday — and the celebration of his life — we offer our thanks that our world once had a man called the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

We long for the days when our country had a spokesman for equality like Dr. King was until the day he died.

Could we ever use someone to fill his shoes … direly.

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Kevin A. Canessa Jr. is the editor of and broadcaster at The Observer, a place where he has served on and off since 2006. He is responsible for the editorial content of the newspaper and website, the production of the e-Newspaper, writing several stories per week (including the weekly editorial), conducting live broadcasts on Facebook Live, including a weekly recap of the news — and much more behind the scenes. Between 2006 and 2008, he introduced the newspaper to its first-ever blog — which included podcasts, audio and video. Originally from Jersey City, Kevin lived in Kearny until 2004, lived in Port St. Lucie. Florida, for four years until February 2016 and in March of that year, he moved back to West Hudson to return to The Observer full time. Click Here to send Kevin an email.