Like all believers in the power of non-violence to achieve social change and justice, I mourned the loss of Coretta Scott King. Her life was dedicated to finding solutions to the ugly and hypocritical sides of humanity. She was a woman of tremendous inner strength, soaring conviction, stout courage and unflinching character. Never was her strength more apparent than when, just days after her husband's death, she led a march on behalf of sanitation workers in Memphis, Tennessee. But I will remember her most for the dignity and poise she always showed. In the face of so much pain and indignity, she never surrendered. And for that, I will forever be in her debt.
As the nation paused yesterday to reflect on what Mrs. King meant to each one of us, it is important remember we cannot divorce the way she lived her life from the way we celebrate her after her passing. Funerals should not be ceremonies to fabricate a life's works. Instead, they are a time to celebrate with honesty and dignity a woman's life, and to consider the legacy that she has left behind.