“In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
-Martin Luther King Jr.
This quote was given by Martin Luther King Jr. in November 1967. It was delivered in one of the five lectures for the renowned Massey Lecture Series of a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and was released as a book called Conscience for Change. It was later republished as The Trumpet of Conscience.
I imagine that this quote was spoken loud and fast until he got to the part about silence, and then slowed down and spoke softer. Slowing down and quieting your voice leaves the impact that that part is more important than the other and makes you pay attention.
We remember the silence of our friends because we thought they would be with us. We expect the words of our enemies so it's nothing special, but when you count on a friend to help you out and they don't, that is what will be remembered. When everything is over, you remember the friends that didn't speak up when they had the chance.
This quote is important because it makes you realize that you could be the friend who remains silent when someone needs you.