One of the best parts of being a Rod Sterling fan is that you don’t have to separate the man from the work he did. A gifted writer with great ideals, he wanted the world to be a better place for everyone.
Recently, Dick Van Dyke, a popular television and motion picture comedian, decided to re-read the 1000-word speech that Rod Serling had written for him. This speech was addressed by him on 31st May 1964 at the Religious Witness for Human Dignity at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
No one knows why Rod Sterling did not give the speech himself. However, he had poured his heart into it. As a result, the speech is full of unflagging optimism and clear-eyed realism.
Van Dyke says in the clip that he has come online because he wants to read something to his online friends and followers. He says, “You know it was 50 years ago, 31st May 1964. I was on the podium with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr as he addressed some 60,000 people in the LA Coliseum. I was there to read a message by Rod Sterling, the guy who wrote – Twilight Zone.”
He further adds, “I got this speech out the other day. It means as much today, if not more, than it did then. So, if you don’t mind, I’d like to read it.” Van Dyke, now 97, decided to read the powerful speech to honor MLK on his birthday.
The speech talks about human dignity and the respect of all men as equals, which is what the Civil Rights Act was about. Ending discrimination based on race, color, religion, and sex. Van Dyke brings these meaningful and beautiful words from Mr. Serling back to life in these troubling times.
Netizens from all over the world are pouring heartfelt comments for Van Dyke. One person said, “This man is 97 years old and still with it! Thank you for the speech, Mr. Van Dyke.” Another one said, “There aren’t many humans left that can evoke happiness, positivity, warmth, and hope simply by talking to us. You are a treasure to us all, Mr. Van Dyke. Thank you simply for being you.”