Stephanie Young, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today after attending the Congressional Gold Medal ceremony that honored Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King and marked the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act:
“I was proud to stand with other Congressional leaders today as the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King were posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, America’s highest civilian honor. Few have had as great and positive an impact on the course of our nation’s history as Dr. and Mrs. King, who dedicated their lives to fighting not only for an end to discrimination and oppression but to ensure that such an end would reflect not the bitterness of the past but the optimism of a brighter and more tolerant future. Their embrace of non-violence continues to inspire agents of change throughout our country and the world, and I will never forget being deeply moved personally by Dr. King’s words and actions when I was a young man in the 1960’s.
“It is fitting that this recognition coincides with the fiftieth anniversary of the historic Civil Rights Act, which Dr. and Mrs. King worked so hard to see passed. I hope all Americans are inspired today to carry forward the Kings’ message of justice, equality, tolerance, faith, and courage in their own lives. And I hope that the young people of America will use this opportunity to learn more about the rich history of the Civil Rights Movement and be inspired to change our country and the world for the better.”