Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 2013 Proclamation 

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State of Illinois Executive Department Proclamation

WHEREAS Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. devoted his life to the advancement of civil rights and public service. He believed in a nation of freedom and justice for all, and challenged all citizens to help build a more perfect union and live up to the purpose and potential of America; and

WHEREAS Dr. King recognized that everybody can be great because everybody can serve, and during his lifetime encouraged all Americans to serve their neighbors and their communities; and

WHEREAS in 1973, the State of Illinois became the first state to make Dr. King’s birthday a state holiday. The citizens of Illinois honor Dr. King’s legacy each year on the third Monday in January; and

WHEREAS legislation creating a federal holiday marking the birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was signed into law in 1983, and the holiday was first observed in 1986, making 2013 the 27th anniversary of the nationwide observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. federal holiday; and

WHEREAS in 1994, Congress initiated the King Day of Service, a nationwide effort to transform the federal holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. into a day of community service, grounded in Dr. King’s teachings, that helps solve social problems; and

WHEREAS this day focuses on bringing people together and breaking down the barriers that have divided us as a nation; and

WHEREAS thousands of Illinois residents use Martin Luther King Day as a “day on, not a day off,” by spending it performing community service; and

WHEREAS each year hundreds of thousands of volunteers in cities and towns across the nation participate in thousands of King Day service projects in all fifty states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico; and

WHEREAS the King Day of Service, which falls on January 21 this year, is an opportune time for the people of Illinois to recognize Dr. King’s teachings on advancing equality and opportunity for all by contributing their own time and talents in a day of service; and

WHEREAS each citizen is encouraged to take part in service that will benefit communities and neighborhoods and provide a fitting memorial to the life of Martin Luther King, Jr.;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that I, Pat Quinn, Governor of Illinois, proclaim January 21, 2013 as Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service in Illinois, and urge citizens throughout Illinois to honor the memory of Dr. King and put his teachings into action by participating in the King Day of Service and finding ways to give back to their communities on this day and throughout the year. To find a volunteer opportunity or to learn more about how to recognize your volunteers, visit the Serve Illinois Commission website at www.Serve.Illinois.gov or call 800-592-9896.

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