Let me end tonight - and this week - with these words about the King speech.
Of all the words spoken by millions of Americans over the years only a small number are remembered.
“Give me liberty or give me death.” “I only regret I have but one life to give for my country.” “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.”
High among them are the words spoken fifty years ago next week: the King Speech.
What’s always gotten to me is the finale: What came at the end, that powerful bringing-together of the cause of civil rights with the very land on which this country sits - this grounding of the God-given rights for the sons and daughters of former slaves in the earth on which this country stands - and lives.
“So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.
Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.
Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania!
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.”
But not only that:
“Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain in Georgia!
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain in Tennessee!
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside let freedom ring.”
There is, in the scope and grandeur and fragrance of those words - the very picture of this land - and in these indelible words this remarkable man managed to raise up civil rights as American rights, as American as the land God gave us.