Honoring the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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On April 4, 1968, the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was cut short, ended by an assassin¹s bullet in Memphis, Tennessee. Though Dr. King was struck down in his prime, his legacy did not end along with life—it has grown to influence and inspire generations of Americans. Born the son of a reverend in Atlanta, Georgia, his memorial now rests in the heart of our democracy on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Today, 56 years later, let us honor Dr. King with faith that the arc of history bends toward justice, and with the good work necessary to move our national democracy closer to his vision of equality.

Dr. King was one of countless men and women who risked and sacrificed their lives to ensure that all Americans can register to vote, cast a ballot free of intimidation and safe from violence, and have that vote counted regardless of the color of their skin. Dr. King spoke for all these men and women when he called on our nation to "Give us the ballot." Awakening our country's conscience, they overcame incredible barriers to voting rights.

But now that we have the ballot, we've got to use it.

Right now, all of us can continue the work of Dr. King and all the fallen heroes of the Civil Rights Movement. Far too many Americans remain unregistered to vote. The sacrifices of the past have given us a voice today—we must use it. Go to right now to register to vote or to update your voter registration.

Dr. King's legacy was never just about our own participation; we must also call out to all our American brothers and sisters and ask their voices to join with ours. Think of five friends who might not be registered to vote, and send them to Gotta Register. It's up to us to help register our fellow citizens to vote, and encourage all Americans to participate in our hard-won political freedom.

The struggle and sacrifice of Dr. King and all our civil rights patriots gave way to the rebirth of our nation. It is our responsibility to use that freedom, to continue their work, and to honor their sacrifice with a monument of action all our own.