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By virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution of Virginia in the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, there is hereby officially recognized:

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

WHEREAS, Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia, and during his short time on earth, he changed our nation forever through his leadership, service, and clarity of vision; and

WHEREAS, as a reverend and a civil rights activist, Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. devoted his life to strengthening the content of the American character and appealed to our nation to hold firm to our Declaration of Independence and its founding principles of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all its citizens; and

WHEREAS, through his preaching, leadership, and service, Reverend Dr. King challenged Americans to live out the promise of freedom, equality, opportunity, and brotherhood; and

WHEREAS, Reverend Dr. King’s life was cut short before his fortieth birthday by the violence that he championed against, further reinforcing the gravity of upholding the banner that he so courageously carried; and

WHEREAS, sacrificing his life for his cause, the greatest tribute we can pay Reverend Dr. King is to celebrate his mission by continuing to work for the day when the dignity and humanity of every person is respected, and judgment is reserved for the content of one’s character and not the color of their skin; and

WHEREAS, an iconic leader and hero of the American Civil Rights Movement, Reverend Dr. King continues to inspire people throughout the Commonwealth, the nation, and the world through his vision, words, and strength of character; and

WHEREAS, Reverend Dr. King had a strong connection to the Commonwealth of Virginia with his personal visits to Danville, Gloucester, Hampton Roads, Hopewell, Petersburg, Richmond, among others; and

WHEREAS, ten years before the date was observed as a national holiday, the City of Petersburg passed an ordinance in August 1973, designating January 15th as a city holiday to commemorate Reverend Dr. King’s birth, and 2023 marks the 50th anniversary of this significant recognition; and

WHEREAS, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Commission, a statutory and bipartisan agency of the Virginia General Assembly, was created in 1992 to honor the memory and legacy of Reverend Dr. King, and for many years the commission has furthered the memory and philosophy of Reverend Dr. King; and

WHEREAS, Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. has been recognized as the first African American to be permanently memorialized on Virginia’s Capital Square, where a memorial stone and tree have been placed and planted in his honor;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Glenn Youngkin, do hereby recognize January 16, 2023, as MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. DAY in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of our citizens.