MartinLutherFeather file photo

Martin Luther King Day celebrates the life of Martin Luther King Jr., an influential American who fought for civil rights.

Martin Luther King Jr., Day is a national holiday that is celebrated on the third Monday of every January. People all across the country commemorate this day. It celebrates the life and achievements of Martin Luther King Jr., who was an influential American civil rights leader.

The United States is not the only place that celebrates or observes this holiday. Hiroshima, a city in Japan, observes this holiday with equal significance. In mayor, Tadatoshi Abiba’s office, takes place a special banquet as a display of showing King’s message of human rights. Another city, one closer to home, that officially recognizes this holiday, is Toronto, Canada.

We recognize this holiday every year but some people ask, “What is the importance of Martin Luther King Junior Day?” Coretta Scott King was an American author, activist, and civil rights leader. She was also MLK’s wife. In the 1960s, Coretta helped lead the African-American Civil Rights Movement.

“The Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday celebrates the life and legacy of a man who brought hope and healing to America,” Coretta said. “We commemorate as well the timeless values he taught us through his example ? the values of courage, truth, justice, compassion, dignity, humility and service that so radiantly defined Dr. King?s character and empowered his leadership. On this holiday, we commemorate the universal, unconditional love, forgiveness and nonviolence that empowered his revolutionary spirit.”

English teacher, Andrea Donaghe, feels that this holiday is not purposeless, and that it has importance to it.

“I think its important to acknowledge leaders,” Donaghe said. “Especially leaders that have truly made a contribution to this country that benefits and blesses its people.”

Thousand of people go to services, have parades, read King’s speech, volunteer, etc. for this one day. The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), which is a federal agency that helps more than 5 million American meliorate the lives of other citizens through service.

“Working hand in hand with local partners, we tap the ingenuity and can-do spirit of the American people to tackle some of the most pressing challenges facing our nation,” CNCS said. “We invest in thousands of nonprofit and faith-based groups that are making a difference across the country. We are AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, the Social Innovation Fund, the Volunteer Generation Fund, and more.”

In seven Ohio communities, about 1,000 volunteers conducted Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service projects with state mini-grants of between $700 and $1,000.

“A service-project challenge by the four residential quads at Denison University in Granville will address challenges in animal welfare, homelessness, hunger and education,” WLWT said. “In Jackson, children plan to make fleece blankets and pillows for the needy. Portsmouth volunteers put together care kits for the American Red Cross. Sidney and Toledo volunteers will restore a childcare center and an abandoned school building.”

For more information about Martin Luther King Day of Service, visit this site.

Follow The Feather via Twitter @thefeather and Instagram @thefeatheronline. This writer can be reached via Twitter: @_nataliatorres1.

For more features, read the Jan. 21 article, Featured App: Get ahead on programming.