As we approach the Martin Luther King, Jr. annual holiday observance, states all over the globe are planning events, memorials, concerts and lectures, all in respect for this clergyman, activist and prominent leader for the African-American Civil Rights Movement.

This iconic man was known for his non-violent aspirations in fighting for justice and civil rights. His famous speech, “I Have a Dream” was presented following a March in Washington and he quickly became known as one of the most famous orators in American history. He was originally inspired by a visit to Mahatma Gandhi’s birthplace in India in 1959 and the deepening of his beliefs for non-violent activism became a stronghold for his ideals in life.

King’s contribution on promoting non-violent fighting for racial inequality earned him the illustrious Noble Peace Prize in October of 1964. In the following years, he also became involved in areas that would help combat poverty as well as voicing his concerns over the Vietnam War.

On April 4, 1968 Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee. Years after his death, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977 and the Congressional Gold Medal in 2004.

In 1986 Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was established as a US National Holiday. Martin Luther King observance day for 2015 is Monday, January 19th.

Note: This was a reprint article by (and CP blogger) appearing in a TV newswire website blog. In speaking of this holiday, we are also reminded of the vast diversity among the countries. It is a difficult time as we watch countries at senseless wars during this time, but as we cruise into the New Year of 2015, may we all strive to embrace our heritage, no matter what race, color, creed or cruise-ship. When we embark on the high seas, we can’t help but be in awe of the beauty and awe of many countries and we wonder, how in such peaceful waters, such harsh political waves can be made in our country or those we visit. May this year bring more peace in countries here and abroad, and may we all reach out to others to promote this peace as we meet our fellow shipmates enjoying the same journey toward a united world.