February 1, 2006- Statement on the Passing of Coretta Scott King

“The passing of Coretta Scott King marks a sad day in the long running struggle to achieve universal civil rights and fulfill the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  With the loss of such an extraordinary life, we must pause to reflect on the many achievements accomplished in her lifetime and how our society has benefited from her lasting influence on the civil rights movement.  Her name is synonymous with tolerance and courage.

“Mrs. King’s passing nearly two weeks after the annual celebration of her husband’s life and a day before the start of African-American History Month serves as a reminder that the pursuit of and defense of civil rights is something that we must all continue to contemplate every day. 

“Today we are a more diverse, tolerant society; but there is much more work to be done.  The march for freedom and equality is a long one, but it must never stop. Mrs. King persevered through the tragic loss of her husband to raise a loving family while  carrying on the memory of Dr. King and advancing his life’s work.  The faithful optimism that she and her husband shared and the challenge they issued to our country continues to press on the conscience of all Americans. 

“Today I join my colleagues in honoring her life and contribution. Our prayers go out to the surviving members of her family and her memory shall stay in our hearts.”