Last Saturday I was blessed to be a part of the Restoring Honor rally. Well over 500,000 people gathered between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument for the event. I was privileged to be on stage when Dr. Alveda King spoke as she honored her uncle on the 47th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s world-changing “I Have a Dream” speech.
Since I first met Alveda in 2004 we have built a friendship with our desire to see biblical principles pursued through the content of character and not the color of a person’s skin. I had worked with her during the 40th anniversary of her uncle’s assassination at events in Memphis, a book-signing in Tupelo and various other projects.
She had 10 of her friends on stage with her, and as we prayed and sang together just minutes before we were to go on, she smiled and said, “Ed, you know you are my token white.”
We both laughed.
I am proud that from all her friends who happen to be white in America that she would ask someone from Tupelo, Miss., to stand beside her at such a momentous occasion in her life.
Indeed her speaking at the rally was not without controversy within the black community around the country. But she said that her uncle desired unity, and called for “white men and black men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics,” to all come together.
At the rally’s end I stood behind Alveda, Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck, and locked arm in arm with Chief Bigpond and one of the founders of the Frederick Douglass Foundation. All together more than 200 priests, rabbis, pastors, bishops, and yes, even imams, stood arm in arm in unity.
Red, yellow, black, white and brown, we represented the desire to seek God first and his righteousness. As we all sang “Amazing Grace” to bagpipes, tears ran down my cheeks while remembering Dr. King’s words.
Because I was part of Alveda’s group I was allowed access to the “green room” where the participants (except Sarah Palin) waited in an air-conditioned tent. There, I was able to speak with the Missionary Baptist pastor C.L. Jackson who received the Faith award. He was introduced to the audience by Chief Bigpond. I was able to speak to both of them in the green room.
They told me about how they sat by each other near the reflecting pool back in 1963 as Dr. King spoke.
Pastor Jackson told me how he was warned not to drive through Mississippi on his way to Washington in 1963 lest his bus be bombed. The longtime African American pastor told me how he is proud of how Glenn Beck is now using his show to promote the need for America to turn back to God.
I was also able to speak to others including historian David Barton who did most of the organizing. My favorite though was the disfigured Vietnam veteran Dave Roever who ended the rally with an amazing prayer. We talked and laughed in the green room as if we had been friends for years.
The rally proceeded just as advertised as there were no politics mentioned in the over three-hour event.
The rally honored our military members, civilians and God. The large diversity of speakers and the challenge to look to God for answers were well received by the huge, peaceful audience.
Every American should watch the replay.
If you love God and your country get on the internet or find a copy of the rally. At the end we were challenged to go home and make a difference in our lives, our families, our communities and most of all in our service to God Almighty.
I can think of only one who would be against such things – and he was cast out of heaven a long time ago.
Dr. Ed Holliday is a Tupelo dentist who has written two successful books. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Ed Holliday