By PolitickerNJ Staff | January 21st, 2013 - 11:04am
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BY BOB MENENDEZ Today, as we inaugurate Barack Obama into his second term as President and celebrate Martin Luther King  Day, let us remember January 1st, 1863, when Abraham Lincoln first issued the Emancipation Proclamation 150 years ago.  

Let us remember what it must have meant to every African-American then and what that moment of freedom and justice has come to represent in the long and troubled history of race relations in this nation.  Let us also remember that, 100 years after Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, Martin Luther King stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and looked down the Mall at thousands of faces, black and white, men and women, young and old, standing together for the cause of freedom.

Now, 150 years to the month after Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation and just under 50 years after Martin Luther King stood on those steps in Lincoln’s "symbolic shadow," we are about to swear-in the first black President in our nation’s history to a second term.  We carry on the cause that every American always be a full-American, a full-citizen, judged not by the "the color of their skin but the content of their character" and that they be given all the rights and liberties afforded by the Constitution.

Abraham Lincoln freed African-Americans from the shameful shackles of slavery. Dr. King led them out of the lingering shadows of segregation and the oppressive yoke of Jim Crow toward a future of hope and a promise of freedom and equality.  Every year at this time we remember their lives and legacies all over again and are keenly aware that the task of freedom has fallen to us.  Indeed, it is up to us to make King’s dream a reality.  And on this day, let us carry forward on our righteous march towards equality and justice.

Bob Menendez is a United States Senator from New Jersey

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Quote of the Day

quote of the day

"Gov. Chris Christie says he won’t campaign for the Republican gubernatorial candidate in New York because the cause is hopeless: Gov. Andrew Cuomo is ahead by more than 30 points. But he will campaign in New Hampshire, over and over, where the Republican is also trailing by more than 30 points. What’s the reason? It may be that New Hampshire holds the nation’s first presidential primary. It may be that he doesn’t want to mess with Cuomo, who knows where the skeletons are buried at the Port Authority. But one thing is certain: Gov. Straight Talk is spinning again. And it seems to be habit-forming." - columnist Tom Moran

- Star-Ledger

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