In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the National Park Foundation is opening all its parks today for FREE. I would love to be in Washington, D.C. to visit his memorial today.
Did you know that when Congress designated the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day as a holiday 22 years ago, it was named as a National Day of Service? The hope was that people would turn the day into one of citizen action volunteer service. I love this idea! Little did I know that South Carolina, my home state, was the last state to make King’s birthday an official state holiday in 2000.
The National Park Foundation’s website shared the following ideas on how to spend this holiday in remembrance of Dr. King:
- Take a tour of Dr. King’s birth home at Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site (Georgia).
- Stop in at the visitor center at George Washington Carver National Monument (Missouri) for a special screening of “We Shall Overcome.”
- Hear the symbol of freedom and justice ring at Independence National Historical Park (Pennsylvania). Join the park and the Philadelphia Martin Luther King, Jr. Association for Nonviolence for a ceremonial tapping of the Liberty Bell in honor of Dr King’s life and work.
- Join volunteers at Valley Forge National Historical Park (Pennsylvania) as they tackle service projects.
- Help preserve our national inheritance at Saguaro National Park (Arizona) by picking up litter along S. Freeman Rd and S. Old Spanish Trail.
- Engage with the momentous march and speech that epitomized the civil rights movement at www.WeAreStillMarching.com. The interactive site transports you to August 28, 1963 and allows you to read Dr. King’s historic “I Have a Dream” speech and record yourself reciting it.
- Continue the tradition of stewardship and volunteerism in parks at Greenbelt Park (Maryland).
- Take a stroll from the Lincoln Memorial to the Martin Luther King Memorial at National Mall and Memorial Parks (Washington, D.C.). The ranger-led walk will discuss Dr. King’s dream for a better America.
- Give back by serving your national parks during one of the day’s service events, hosted by the Student Conservation Association and American Express in New York or Washington D.C.
For my local SC peeps, here are the national parks in our area:
Use this link to find one in your neck of the woods.
And finally, enjoy this version of “Shed a Little Light” by The Maccabeats and Naturally 7 a capella groups: