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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech on Aug. 28, 1963 on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial as part of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

On Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2016, in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Western University of Health Sciences College of Optometry students invited the WesternU community to write their dreams on balloons, which were sent skyward (then pulled back down so they would not interfere with aircraft).

“(Dr. King) was a really great activist who fought for equal rights for everyone,” said first-year College of Optometry student Esther Lim. “As health professions students, we thought it would be a good idea to promote that. We want to provide equal opportunities for health services.”

Master of Science in Medical Sciences student John Le wrote “I dream of equal access to health care for all” on a balloon.

“We’re at a crucial period of deciding on the leader of our nation,” he said. “Although we have universal health care, there are many holes in it. It’s important we become better providers and give access to health care to people who need it the most. People should be able to have a basic checkup without so much out-of-pocket expense or red tape associated with having health care.”

“Martin Luther King Jr. was really about opportunity, and for everyone to work to make their dream a reality,” said College of Optometry Assistant Professor Paul Dobies, OD, BS, FAAO. “For him, all lives really did matter. We want to engage students that all patients’ lives matter.”