Lt. Gov. Brad Little read a proclamation from Gov. Butch Otter, and the rich and interweaving sounds of the Common Ground Community Chorus singing "I Dream a World" followed a trumpet fanfare and Girl Scouts presentation of colors to open Idaho's state ceremony today for Martin Luther King Jr./Idaho Human Rights Day. "I encourage Idahoans to rededicate themselves to the principles of respect for human rights and freedom, of belief in non-violence, and of commitment to improving the state and nation through community service and volunteerism," the proclamation read in part. With the state Capitol closed for renovation, the ceremony was held at Boise City Hall, where a large crowd easily filled much of the large city council chambers to mark the holiday. Keynote speaker Leslie Goddard noted the historic presidential inauguration coming tomorrow, touching the same note of joyous excitement that seemed to fill the crowd.
Here's the full text of the governor's proclamation:
WHEREAS, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. inspired millions of Americans to participate in non-violent demonstrations to support the ideals of equality for all, and was a motivating force behind a civil rights movement that had as its goal the creation of a society inclusive of all races, cultures and nationalities; and
WHEREAS, the celebration of Dr. King’s birthday is intended as a time for all Americans to reaffirm their commitment to the basic principles that underlie our Constitution – equal treatment and justice for all; and
WHEREAS, Idaho enjoys a richness of diversity in its population, embracing many ethnic and racial groups as a part of both the State’s history and its future; and
WHEREAS, both State and national observances of this day will focus on the importance of individual volunteerism and a commitment to community service as a way of breaking down social and economic barriers and to bring people together to focus on their common concerns and interests; and
WHEREAS, the ideals of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Idaho’s commitment to human rights are worthy of reflection and serve as a reminder that improving the quality of life for all members of society is everyone’s responsibility;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, C.L. “BUTCH” OTTER, Governor of the State of Idaho, do hereby proclaim Monday, January 19, 2009, to be
MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. IDAHO HUMAN RIGHTS DAY
and I encourage Idahoans to rededicate themselves to the principles of respect for human rights and freedom, of belief in non-violence, and of commitment to improving the state and nation through community service and volunteerism.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of the State of Idaho at the Capitol in Boise on this 19th day of January in the year of our Lord two thousand and nine and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred thirty-third and of the Statehood of Idaho the one hundred nineteenth.
C.L. “BUTCH” OTTER
SECRETARY OF STATE