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Mears: MLK Day is a day on, not a day off

Staff Reporter

Published: Monday, January 21, 2013

Updated: Monday, January 21, 2013 23:01

Provided by Morgan Mears

Provided by Morgan Mears

With the semester just beginning, it is nice to already have a day off and a break from classes; however, not many people take notice as to why students are given this day off or why this day truly matters.

Every third Monday in the month of January people recognize Martin Luther King Day, celebrating the life and achievements of the late civil rights leader. As most national holidays tend to go, most federal, state, and county workers do not have to go to work, and most schools and colleges are closed for the day giving students a day off.

Not only do students and many workers fail to realize why they are being given the day off, in turn they fail to actually celebrate the holiday as they would other national holidays, such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. While many people spend weeks beforehand preparing for Thanksgiving and Christmas, MLK Day is almost completely overlooked except for having the day off. 

The holiday itself is meant to be a celebration of Dr. King’s life and achievements; it is meant to remember the services Dr. King performed to make this country a better place for everyone to live, and unfortunately, many people look at it as a paid day off from work or school. That is not the holiday’s intended purpose.

According to MLKDay.gov, the holiday is supposed to be viewed as a “day on, and not a day off,” meaning that the holiday is meant to be a celebration of the service that Dr. King did for our great nation, and in turn, citizens of the United States should perform an act of service to celebrate and honor Dr. King’s life.

MLK Day is a chance to start the year off right by making an impact in your community. There are many different ways to celebrate MLK day, from going out and performing a service project in your community to watching a civil rights documentary and learning more about Dr. King’s life and his many great accomplishments. 

According to a story posted on the Vibe.com, one user, Nicole Brown, suggested many different ways to celebrate the day; a few suggestions made by Brown  included watching the presidential inauguration, completing a service project for your community, researching  Dr. King’s life and watching a documentary on civil rights.

Martin Luther King Day is not simply a paid day off for workers or a free day from school for students; it is a day of merriment, celebrating the great life and work of the late Dr. King.

Before you decide to sit at home and have a lazy day off, remember why you have been given this day off and what it means. Dr. King believed in a nation of freedom and justice for all, and he strived to make this nation a better place to live for all citizens, so don’t just sit at home or go to a party and not celebrate Dr. King’s great achievements.

Get up and perform an act of service and celebrate the life and achievements of the late Dr. King. 

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