The 1962 film of Harper Lee's excellent novel shows how injustice surrounded even the justice system. It framed perfectly how racism can hinder every part of life, but also how one man can make a difference.
This lesson is mirrored in the life of Martin Luther King. So many figures in history are remembered for winning wars, taking over countries or killing those who stood in their way. Martin Luther King left his mark on history by promoting peace. His name is forever remembered for bringing love and unbending acceptance. We honor him for his sacrifice, we remember him because of how he lived.
Martin Luther King and Harper Lee's Atticus Finch were men with presence. Love them or hate them, you would not soon forget them. They were strong, but not because they fought--though I imagine both of them could have--instead because they turned the other cheek. Unlike so many people in the world, they understood that from love is not born of violence.
That is the legacy we remember on this day. May we endeavor to live as they did.