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Opinion/Shaheen: Honor Dr. King by carrying on his work

Statement of U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day:

"Dr. King's words ring louder today than they have since he first spoke them: 'The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.' On Martin Luther King Jr. Day – and every day – all Americans should hold themselves to the standard of living that mission.

"In the last year, our nation experienced the greatest reckoning on racial injustice since the Civil Rights Movement. Long overdue conversations about policy changes to ensure equal protection and treatment under the law were finally pushed into the national spotlight. It is tragic that the lives taken – George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery – and more Americans from communities of color were the catalyst for action.

"Millions of Americans raised their voices and demanded meaningful change to address the systemic racism that exists in our society, from education to politics to voting rights and health care. More than five decades since Dr. King delivered his "I Have A Dream" speech, our nation still has a promise to uphold to all communities of color that will finally spur lasting change.

"As the new session of Congress begins and under a new administration, I urge lawmakers on both sides of the aisle and at every level of government to come together to enact reform that dismantles racial inequities in our country. The best way we can honor Dr. King is to carry on his work so we can create the future that he so fervently fought for."

As Governor of New Hampshire, Shaheen fought for passage of, and signed, a resolution to recognize Martin Luther King Jr. Day in New Hampshire – the last state in the nation to do so.