As I drove back to Bellingham, Washington from St. Paul, Minnesota after completing my freshman year at Bethel, I knew my life had dramatically changed but I had no idea how much.
At Bethel, I encountered Professor G.W. Carlson who taught Political Science. Professor Carlson challenged me to research, think and to pray through issues rather than assuming I knew what was happening. During that year at Bethel, I read books with titles such as Black Like Me (John Howard Griffin) and Nobody Loves a Drunken Indian (Clair Huffaker). The more I read of these types of books, I realized that there were changes I needed to make in how I viewed our world and engaged with it.
I began seeking out political leaders who seemed to be not only aware of key issues we as Americans were facing in 1968 but leaders who wanted to make a difference. I saw, for instance, that Senator Robert Kennedy spoke to the very heart of America and he courageously sought to address very difficult and long-standing issues.
On April 4, 1968 James Earl Ray shot and killed Rev. Martin Luther King. On that night, Senator Robert F. Kennedy of New York delivered the grim news to the people at what had originally been planned as a campaign stop. The Indianapolis speech (below) that Senator Kennedy delivered impromptu and from his heart more than fifty-two years ago still has a strong and powerful message for all of us today.
My travels have often taken me to Washington D.C. As time allowed, I would visit Arlington National Cemetery and in particular, RFK’s grave. On a wall opposite the grave are carved words from the Indianapolis speech. May the words of the Indianapolis speech come alive today in new and fresh ways as our country once again is facing a perilous time.
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April 4th, 1968 Martin Luther King was shot and killed. On that night, Robert F Kennedy, New York’s senator back then, wanted to deliver the news to the peop…