This weekend it has taken a hurricane to postpone the dedication of the long-awaited monument to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Washington — the first time a man who is not a president, not white man and not a war leader has been so honored on the Mall. Major corporations contributed to this monument, so the question is how will Dr. King be presented to the American public and remembered by children.
One clear viewpoint was offered this January 13th when the Pentagon commemorated Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with an address by Jeh C. Johnson, the Defense Department’s general counsel.
In the final year of his life, King became an outspoken opponent of the Vietnam War, Johnson frankly told a packed auditorium of Defense Department officials. However, Johnson hastily added, today’s wars are not out of line with the iconic Nobel Peace Prize winner’s teachings. “I believe that if Dr. King were alive today, he would recognize that we live in a complicated world, and that our nation’s military should not and cannot lay down its arms and leave the American people vulnerable to terrorist attack.”