October 28, 2005

Statement of Joseph T. Hansen, UFCW International President

(Washington, DC) The UFCW will lower the American flag to half staff at its International headquarters building in Washington, DC to memorialize the passing, and to commemorate the heroic contribution to the struggle for civil rights of Rosa Parks.

In an act of individual courage, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man, and move to the back of the bus. Her arrest sparked the Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott and led to the end of segregation in public transportation. Her action inspired a movement and brought a new generation of leaders and activists, including Martin Luther King Jr., to the forefront of the fight for civil rights.

All of us are deeply saddened by Ms. Parks passing and all of us are indebted to her for her strength and determination. She truly made our country better. Seeing the flag flying at half staff in her memory should remind all of us that one person with courage and a commitment to justice can change the world.