That sounds like a pretty good lineup at your local hangout — I’d love to knock back some half-price burgers and beers with that crew. Due to circumstances beyond their control, that’s probably not going to happen anytime soon. In the meantime, our first black Attorney General had these deep and appropriate remarks to say in his remarks at a civil rights commemoration for MLK Day which is coming up this weekend. This is indeed a time for those who believe that the response to Sat’s tragedy is more guns and more hate. King would call us all, if he were here, to have the Strength to Love one another instead, I know. And now a few words from Eric Holder and his magnificent mustache, so reassuring during this difficult time…

Today, as we join together to reflect on – and to celebrate – the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we are also bound by a shared grief and painful sense of loss.

This weekend, in an unspeakable tragedy, twenty individuals were shot in Tucson, Arizona, at a constituent meeting with Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.   Six people were killed, including 9-year old Christina Taylor Green and Chief United States District Court Judge John Roll.

This senseless and shameful act of violence serves as an unfortunate reminder that – more than 40 years since Dr. King’s own tragic and untimely death – our world has yet to run its course of cruelty.  And our work to combat violence – and to bring those who engage in violent acts to justice – goes on.

Without question, threats against public officials – whatever form they take – continue to be cause for concern and vigilance.   But I do not believe that these threats are as strong as the forces working for tolerance and peace.

In times like these – times of inexplicable loss and unprecedented challenge – the importance of the Justice Department’s mission, and the power of Dr. King’s example, are brought into stark focus.

So, as we pray for those who have been killed and injured – including Congresswoman Giffords and the many families devastated by this tragedy – let us also recommit ourselves to the work of this great Department, and to our professional and personal efforts to carry forward Dr. King’s dream.

For a quarter of a century now, Americans have been coming together around Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to do just that – and to pay tribute to Dr. King’s life and enduring contributions.   Each year, this time provides an opportunity for each of us to rededicate ourselves to Dr. King’s dream of racial, social, and economic justice.   It is also a reminder of the power and importance of service to others.   Dr. King’s example, and his enduring legacy, offer proof that the contributions of a single person can help to improve, inspire, and transform an entire nation.

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