Martin Luther King Jr.

I usually see my father once or twice a year. Whenever we get together, whether with more family, extended family, my girlfriend at the time or my siblings' significant others or friends, my father almost always throws out the, "If you could have dinner with five people living or dead, who would they be?" Usually my five changes, but he's aware of one person who's always at that fantasy dinner, and that person is Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King would be 77 years old today. I find that amazing. He's been gone since 1968, five years before I was born, yet had he lived, he'd still be at a fairly young age. Although we've made progress, had he not been assassinated that day in Memphis, imagine where we could be today.

Dr. King is one individual who deserves the easily thrown around accolade of being a "hero". He was a man of peace, humility, vision and love. When I consider what religion means to me, King is the closest it comes to being an ideal human being. He fought for his people, but he also fought for us all. As the founder of the SCLC he had difficulties with the more violent arms of the civil rights movement, namely SNCC and the Black Panthers. He worked with them as his group was trying to meet similar ends, yet his SCLC was determined to reach those goals peacefully.

Americans love holidays. Christmas, Hanukkah, Thanskgiving - these are all holidays that bring us together. Tomorrow we take the day off to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King. If there's ever a holiday that deserves thanks, it's MLK Day. He was a wonderful man.