Brothers and sisters,

In the United States, we honor Martin Luther King, Jr. the third Monday of January. Dr. King is remembered for his "I have a Dream" message given on August 28, 1963. He shared his belief that one day all people would be citizens, free and respected. It was a message filled with hope and love. Tens of thousand gathered to listen to Dr. King and John Lenon wrote the song and lyrics "Imagine," yet in 2011, 48 years later, his dream is unfulfilled. An attitude of "us" and "them" has been taught for two generations and now the resulting hate and violence of that thinking exists in the US. Three days ago a person shot and killed 9 year-old Christina Green, because she was standing close to Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was also shot but is surviving. The gunman seems to have learned his lesson well and took action. Mrs. Giffords was one of "them," Christina was neither. Violence begats more violence, love encourages more love. Isn't it easier to love and show respect for your neighbor than to murder his child and live with the shame and guilt that action should make you feel? To the ladies of VOF, to the woman struggling every day to gain some human rights: don't back down, be willing to die for what you believe in, but when you gain what you have worked for, love those who were withholding it from you. Show them forgiveness and love. Include them in "your dream."

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