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via CNN

Roland S. Martin is a syndicated columnist and author of “The First: President Barack Obama’s Road to the White House.” He is a commentator for TV One cable network and host/managing editor of its Sunday morning news show, “Washington Watch with Roland Martin.”

It’s only fitting that during the week we were to dedicate the memorial in Washington to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., an earthquake would hit the region and the entire East Coast would be bracing itself for a hurricane.

When we think about the enormity of King’s work, in which he gave his life, as well as the many folks who also fought in the civil rights movement, we realize that their actions struck at this nation’s core with a ferocity never seen before.

At Thursday’s MLK Memorial Foundation luncheon honoring the veterans of the movement, former U.S. Rep. Bill Gray said the civil rights movement was America’s third revolution, following the American Revolution and the Civil War.

It is important to understand that King’s place on the mall is appropriate.

Across the tidal basin is the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, which honors the man who articulated the vision of America. To the left is the Washington Monument, which honors the man who led the nation in the fight to establish the United States of America. Behind the King monument is the Abraham Lincoln Memorial, dedicated to the man who kept America from tearing apart.

But out of all of these men, it took a King to force America to live up to its ideals. Americans loved to recite the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution, but for many, those were simply words.

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