PM notes significance of US presidential inauguration on Martin Luther King Day
PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, Wednesday January 23, 2013 – The Trinidad and Tobago government has described as “ironic” the inauguration of President Barack Obama on the day the United States observes a public holiday marking the birthday of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King.
“The inauguration of Barack Obama as the President of the United States realizes the dream of equality expressed by Martin Luther King Jr and it holds particular pride for our own diverse nation today as we join in celebration with hundreds of millions of people across the planet,” Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar said in a statement on Monday.
“It is ironic that President Obama was sworn in on Martin Luther King Day. No one could have predicted nor determined that Barack Obama's inauguration would occur on the very day set aside for both the observation of the life and birth of an historic figure who dreamt of an America where colour no longer mattered and the official inauguration of the 44th President of the United States of America.
“It is my belief that this event is the fulfillment of a destiny etched in the soul of a nation some 50 years ago,” she said, adding that “we should all consider ourselves fortunate to have seen this occur in our lifetime.
“It opens up our minds to the world of possibilities available to each of us regardless of who we are and what obstacles may lie in our way. The story and life of Barack Obama is a beacon to the world that points the way in which each of our own destinies can be fulfilled against all odds,” she added.
Meanwhile, Caribbean American Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke says the inauguration of President Obama for his second term, should also serve as a reminder of the work done by King, “whose work contributed to this historic occasion”.
Clarke, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) that King dedicated his life to the idea that all Americans, regardless of their skin colour, deserved equal rights and opportunities.
“Dr. King fought back against bigotry, hatred, and intolerance not through violence or threats, but through peace and understanding. He bravely led demonstrations and marches against intolerance, remaining peaceful even when confronted with violence,” said Clarke, the representative for the 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn, New York.
King, an important civil rights activist, was the leader in the movement to end racial segregation in the United States. He became the youngest man to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He was assassinated in 1968.(CMC) Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)