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Westport First Selectman Reflects On Martin Luther King's Message

Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe
Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe Photo Credit: File

WESTPORT, Conn. – As Martin Luther King, Jr. Day approaches, Westport First Selectman Jim Marpe released the following message to his constituents:

With the day of remembrance for Martin Luther King, Jr. on the horizon, I would like to take this opportunity to reflect on one of Dr. King’s simple but powerful statements: "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter." Westport is a community of people with unique experiences and a collective resolve to affect change. In this regard, civility among those within our own community is the first, crucial step in creating positive change outside the confines of our homes, our neighborhoods, our Town and beyond.

On a daily basis, it is the little things that matter. When we resonate kindness, listen to others and stand strong in our convictions in a way that is open to change, we show the best of our individual character as well as that of the Town collectively.

Dr. King profoundly stated, “People fail to get along because they fear each other; they fear each other because they don’t know each other; they don’t know each other because they have not communicated with each other.” Each of us should take this message to heart and as a society raise our voices to embrace our differences.

However, first and foremost, we must embrace our collective humanity. Only then can we truly get to know each other so that fear is no longer an impediment. Through participation in organizations such as TEAM Westport or its partner initiatives at the Westport Library, Westport Country Playhouse, Westport Schools and the member institutions of the Interfaith Council, the Town of Westport continues to offer its citizens an expanding set of vehicles for engagement in the conversation of which Dr. King spoke.

I sincerely hope as many “Westporters” as possible, young and old alike, come together to advance the initiatives and ideas introduced by Dr. King, not only on the day on which we honor him, but each and every day of our lives.

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