Why do we celebrate today as MLK Day?

The Meaning of The King Holiday

by Coretta Scott King

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday celebrates the life and legacy of a man who brought hope and healing to America. 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.

We commemorate Dr. King’s inspiring words, because his voice and his vision filled a great void in our nation, and answered our collective longing to become a country that truly lived by its noblest principles. Yet, Dr. King knew that it wasn’t enough just to talk the talk, that he had to walk the walk for his words to be credible. And so we commemorate on this holiday the man of action, who put his life on the line for freedom and justice every day, the man who braved threats and jail and beatings and who ultimately paid the highest price to make democracy a reality for all Americans.

The King Holiday honors the life and contributions of America’s greatest champion of racial justice and equality, the leader who not only dreamed of a color-blind society, but who also lead a movement that achieved historic reforms to help make it a reality.

On this day we commemorate Dr. King’s great dream of a vibrant, multiracial nation united in justice, peace and reconciliation; a nation that has a place at the table for children of every race and room at the inn for every needy child. We are called on this holiday, not merely to honor, but to celebrate the values of equality, tolerance and interracial sister and brotherhood he so compellingly expressed in his great dream for America.

It is a day of interracial and intercultural cooperation and sharing. No other day of the year brings so many peoples from different cultural backgrounds together in such a vibrant spirit of brother and sisterhood. Whether you are African-American, Hispanic or Native American, whether you are Caucasian or Asian-American, you are part of the great dream Martin Luther King, Jr. had for America. This is not a black holiday; it is a peoples’ holiday. And it is the young people of all races and religions who hold the keys to the fulfillment of his dream.

We commemorate on this holiday the ecumenical leader and visionary who embraced the unity of all faiths in love and truth. And though we take patriotic pride that Dr. King was an American, on this holiday we must also commemorate the global leader who inspired nonviolent liberation movements around the world. Indeed, on this day, programs commemorating my husband’s birthday are being observed in more than 100 nations.

The King Holiday celebrates Dr. King’s global vision of the world house, a world whose people and nations had triumphed over poverty, racism, war and violence. The holiday celebrates his vision of ecumenical solidarity, his insistence that all faiths had something meaningful to contribute to building the beloved community.

The Holiday commemorates America’s pre-eminent advocate of nonviolence — the man who taught by his example that nonviolent action is the most powerful, revolutionary force for social change available to oppressed people in their struggles for liberation.

This holiday honors the courage of a man who endured harassment, threats and beatings, and even bombings. We commemorate the man who went to jail 29 times to achieve freedom for others, and who knew he would pay the ultimate price for his leadership, but kept on marching and protesting and organizing anyway.

Every King Holiday has been a national “teach-in” on the values of nonviolence, including unconditional love, tolerance, forgiveness and reconciliation, which are so desperately-needed to unify America. It is a day of intensive education and training in Martin’s philosophy and methods of nonviolent social change and conflict-reconciliation. The Holiday provides a unique opportunity to teach young people to fight evil, not people, to get in the habit of asking themselves, “what is the most loving way I can resolve this conflict?”

On the King Holiday, young people learn about the power of unconditional love even for one’s adversaries as a way to fight injustice and defuse violent disputes. It is a time to show them the power of forgiveness in the healing process at the interpersonal as well as international levels.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is not only for celebration and remembrance, education and tribute, but above all a day of service. All across America on the Holiday, his followers perform service in hospitals and shelters and prisons and wherever people need some help. It is a day of volunteering to feed the hungry, rehabilitate housing, tutoring those who can’t read, mentoring at-risk youngsters, consoling the broken-hearted and a thousand other projects for building the beloved community of his dream.

Dr. King once said that we all have to decide whether we “will walk in the light of creative altruism or the darkness of destructive selfishness. Life’s most persistent and nagging question, he said, is `what are you doing for others?’” he would quote Mark 9:35, the scripture in which Jesus of Nazareth tells James and John “…whosoever will be great among you shall be your servant; and whosoever among you will be the first shall be the servant of all.” And when Martin talked about the end of his mortal life in one of his last sermons, on February 4, 1968 in the pulpit of Ebenezer Baptist Church, even then he lifted up the value of service as the hallmark of a full life. “I’d like somebody to mention on that day Martin Luther King, Jr. tried to give his life serving others,” he said. “I want you to say on that day, that I did try in my life…to love and serve humanity.

We call you to commemorate this Holiday by making your personal commitment to serve humanity with the vibrant spirit of unconditional love that was his greatest strength, and which empowered all of the great victories of his leadership. And with our hearts open to this spirit of unconditional love, we can indeed achieve the Beloved Community of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream.

May we who follow Martin now pledge to serve humanity, promote his teachings and carry forward his legacy into the 21st Century.

(Re-elected) Representative Porter visits SHC -Surrey Place Care Center

Residents and stakeholders at Signature HealthCARE’s Surrey Place Care Center in Live Oak, Florida recently hosted a great visit with state Representative Elizabeth Porter.  Representative Porter has been serving the community since 2008 when she first ran for the House of Representatives and has repeatedly been re-elected to represent Suwanee, Columbia, Alachua, Dixie, Gilchrist and Lafayette counties.

Administrator/CEO Brenda Lacy shared the mission and vision of Signature HealthCARE, “TO CHANGE THE LANDSCAPE OF HEALTHCARE” and explained how we focus on the many different types of residents we serve in the community.  Porter witnessed the valuable time residents spend in our exemplary rehabilitation program, as well as meeting and greeting residents enjoying many other daily activities.

Along with many other Signature facilities, Surrey Place is on the path to becoming an Eden Certified facility, a program dedicated to creating quality of life for Elders and their care partners which really interested Porter.  Her visit took place just before the elections and provided an opportunity to share with her issues and concerns such as funding and the Certificate of Need process as we head into the 2017 legislative session.

It was a great visit with Representative Porter and we hope she will come back soon and visit with us.

porter-at-surrey-6porter-at-surrey-7porter-at-surrey-8 porter-at-surrey-9porter-at-surrey-1

To all Veterans – deepest gratitude for your service to this Country

Reposted from Veterans Day 2015Untitled2

While many people celebrate today by attending parades and Veteran’s events, it is important that we remember the actual history of Veterans Day.
Veterans Day is an official United States holiday honoring people that have served in the armed services or “Veterans”

It is celebrated on November 11th and originally marked the end of World War I when the 28th President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed it Armistice Day (an agreement made by opposing sides in a war to stop fighting for a certain time- a truce.”) on November 11, 1919.

Then, in 1945, World War II veteran Raymond Weeks from Birmingham, Alabama, had the idea to expand Armistice Day to celebrate all veterans, not just those who died in World War I. So, he took his idea to then General and subsequent President Dwight Eisenhower, who supported the idea of National Veterans Day and on May 26th, 1954 signed the bill into law declaring it “Armistice Day”.

Congress subsequently amended this act on June 1, 1954, replacing “Armistice” with “Veterans,” and it has been known as Veterans Day since!
So…..A special “thanks” to all Veterans that have served and given their lives to protect the freedoms that we know and celebrate in America today!

United We Stand

In the wake of the state and federal elections across the country we wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of our residents, our stakeholders, the families and the communities we serve for stepping up to the plate and being part of the political process guaranteed by our Constitution.
Whether voting in person at the polls, by absentee ballot or even by early voting, as Americans we have shown that there is hope for our future and that we stand united to address the challenges that encompass all of our healthcare issues and beyond.
We will surely face challenges on the road ahead, but if we go forward with voices heard and votes cast, we will undoubtedly make this world better for generations to come.
Thank you to all SHC teams that welcomed candidates into their facilities, shared concerns about the direction and path that our future holds, and encouraged all to stay engaged in the political process with so much at stake- we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for being the best partners we could ever ask for!

American Flag

US Congressman Guthrie visits Hart County Care & Rehab

Residents and stakeholders at Hart County Care and Rehab in Horse Cave, Kentucky recently held a great “meet and greet” with US Congressman Brett Guthrie who represents Kentucky’s Second Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Congressman Guthrie serves on both the House Energy and Commerce (E&C) Committee the oldest standing legislative committee in the House with broad jurisdiction over our nation’s energy, healthcare, telecommunications and consumer product safety policies. Guthrie also serves as Vice Chair of the E&C Subcommittee on Health.
Guthrie answered questions related to long term care issues and we shared information with him about Signature’s “revolution” and the residents were glad to meet him and talk with him. He admired the facility and meeting with his “constituents” and continues to be dedicated to improving healthcare issues for Kentuckians and our great Nation!
Guthrie at Hart County 1Guthrie at Hart County 2Guthrie at Hart County 3

US Congressional Candidate visits Clinton County Care and Rehab

Residents and stakeholders are still talking about the recent visit with US Congressional candidate James “Jamie” Comer at Clinton County Care and Rehab. Comer is seeking the seat currently held in Kentucky’s 1st congressional district to succeed Congressman Ed Whitfield.
Comer previously served in the Kentucky House of Representatives from 2000 to 2012 and he served as the Agriculture Commissioner of Kentucky from 2012 to 2016.
Everyone enjoyed hearing from “Jamie” and also Jake Staton, the Clinton County Circuit Clerk of the Court, as they talked about issues and challenges in Kentucky and in Washington, D.C. The visit opened great dialogue and conversation as residents spoke out about their many concerns related to the Commonwealth and how their votes are so important and how elections can be decided by a single vote! Kudos to the team at Clinton County for hosting this great event….
Clinton County and Comer 1Clinton County and Comer 2Clinton County and Comer 3

Columbus Day

While so many of our SHC facilities are still feeling the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew – and all our residents and stakeholders are safe and many returning to their “homes” we are so blessed to have such great teams that made this possible! And we would be remiss if we did not make note that in cities around our great nation Columbus Day is being celebrated with parades and fanfare….but did you know?
Before it became a legal federal holiday in 1971, many states celebrated Columbus Day on October 12.
• It marks Christopher Columbus’ first voyage to America. He landed on the island of Guanahani in the Bahamas on October 12, 1492.
• Columbus and a crew of 90 people set sail about 10 weeks earlier aboard their ships – Nina, Pinta, and Santa Maria.
• Timeline: 1792 – The first Columbus Day celebration is organized by The Society of St. Tammany and held in New York City (300th anniversary of Columbus’ landing).
• 1892 – President Benjamin Harrison issues a proclamation establishing a celebration of Columbus Day on the 400th anniversary of Columbus’ landing.
• April 7, 1907 – Colorado becomes the first state to declare Columbus Day a legal holiday.
• 1920 – Columbus Day begins being celebrated annually.
• October 12, 1937 – First federal observance of Columbus Day, under President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
• 1971 – Columbus Day becomes a legal federal holiday in the United States. Presidential Proclamation (PL90-363) states that the observance of Columbus Day is always on the second Monday in October.
American Flag

It’s not always about politics!

State Representative Kathleen Peters is no stranger to Signature HealthCARE at Gulfport and recently paid another visit bringing with her some “sweet treats” for our residents!

Currently serving in the Florida House of Representatives –District 69, Peters is truly vested in the community. She is the former Mayor of South Pasadena and takes great pride in the fact that Signature took on the challenge to bring this building “back to life” providing services to so many in her community. She understands so many of the challenges we are facing with Medicaid reimbursement, the need for CON preservation, guardianship issues and ongoing transportation issues for residents.

All the residents that attended had a great time and appreciated the treats as Representative Peters made her way around the room, talking with residents, as she continues to express how impressed she is with this facility and letting us know she is there for us and is just a phone call away. Peters said she will be making this a regular event and will be back again soon!

Thank you to Representative Kathleen Peters for going above and beyond and to SHC-Gulfport Administrator Jemi Awini, Lauri Loane – Activities Director and Chaplain Kris Schuck for coordinating this “sweet” visit!
Peters at Gulfport -1Peters at Gulfport -2Peters at Gulfport -3Peters at Gulfport -4

Where were you on September 11, 2001?

September 11
As we remember those that perished, we have much to be thankful for…
Reading an article the other day in USA Today was a true eye opener….history teachers across the country were preparing curriculums for this year with segments on 9/11….because the majority of students that are graduating in 2017 and thereafter weren’t even born yet and will need to be “taught” about the brave efforts of so many who died as a result of a vicious terrorist attack on our nation that day.
Yes, we have been engaged in battles throughout the decades, but as Americans, we must never forget those that have served and presently are serving in our military putting their lives at stake to preserve the freedoms that we all have today. Looking back at 9/11 and the many tragedies prior to and those that have followed in its path remind us to take nothing for granted and be cognizant that there are those that will always attempt to take away our spirit….but that will not happen as we are a nation of resilience that strives to support the principles that our forefathers founded this country on…life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness!
I remember exactly where I was as that terrible day unfolded and reflect on it often…..where were you?
May we all take a moment to remember all the fallen heroes….

Candidate for US Senate visits SHC-Chapel Hill

Candidate for US Senate in North Carolina, Deborah Ross, visited with residents, stakeholders and members of the community today at SHC-Chapel Hill to hear what Candidate Ross is proposing if she is elected to Congress. She discussed Medicare issues, answered questions about personal needs allowance – although a state issue and was presented with challenges from CMS that post-acute providers are concerned with and the effects many of the Affordable Care Act issues play in the lives of constituents in North Carolina.
Additionally, members of the Board of Elections and volunteers were on hand to register voters- many of whom will now be able to vote in upcoming elections. Coordinated by activities director Kathy Wright-Moore and the great team under the leadership of Administrator-Turner Prickett, Chaplain Brian Morphonios captured some great moments during the event!
Taking up the challenge issues to all SHC-facilities to connect with their candidates and incumbents running for office to come to our buildings and share in learning about long term care concerns and issues as they head to the polls in November, SHC Chapel Hill rose to the occasion today, a beautiful Sunday and a shout out to the great team at Chapel Hill!
Deborah Ross - candidate for US Senate at Chapel Hill -1Voters register at Chapel HillDeborah Ross - candidate for US Senate at Chapel Hill -2