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Event honors Martin Luther King Jr. legacy

Chapter 7 performed two musical selections during last year’s Fort Rucker Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Program. This year’s program is Jan. 14 at 10 a.m. at the post theater. (File photo)

Chapter 7 performed two musical selections during last year’s Fort Rucker Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Program. This year’s program is Jan. 14 at 10 a.m. at the post theater. (File photo)

Published: January 7, 2015

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (Jan. 7, 2015) -- Honor, integrity, selfless service and personal courage rest in the Army’s core, and Fort Rucker will honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s efforts to spirit those values during an observance beginning at 10 a.m. Jan. 14 at the post theater.

“Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s contributions were vital to the Civil Rights Movement,” Angela Jones, Fort Rucker Equal Employment Opportunity Office complaint manager, said. “He inspired people from all walks of life, all across the nation and world, to act on behalf of their fellow citizens, to stand up for the equal rights of all people and to be a steward of volunteerism for the community. These same principles are as important in the present and to our future as they were to our past.”

The theme for each year’s observance is “Remember! Celebrate! Act! A Day On, Not a Day Off!” This year’s guest speaker is Sgt. Maj. William S. Hayes from United States Army Aviation Center of Excellence Headquarters.

Jones said the observance provides an excellent opportunity to reflect on King’s accomplishments and apply them to future endeavors.

“Honoring the courage displayed by Dr. King and remembering his accomplishment reminds us all of the work we can all continue to do to encourage our community to strive to be more inclusive of all people, embrace diversity, and recognize how each of our unique attributes can enhance the quality of our mission, not hinder it,” she said. “By holding observances, this demonstrates to the community the importance Fort Rucker places on these initiatives and the command support behind them.

“When people can see and feel the influence they can have, the hope is they are more apt to take on some of these initiatives in a more personal and tangible way,” she added.

According to Jones, reflecting on our nation’s history is invaluable.

“It is well noted that if we forget our past, we are likely to repeat it,” she said. “This is why it is extremely important we remain mindful of the struggles and challenges of the past, so our future generations are able to recognize injustices and do not perpetuate past wrongs.”

Jones said community members can also honor King’s legacy through volunteerism.

“Dr. King was not only known for his passion for equality but also for his passion for volunteering in the community,” she said. “As the celebration states, this is a day on, not a day off. On this upcoming day of commemoration, Dr. King would want to be memorialized by the people of this nation giving back to the people of the community – specifically those less fortunate. This was his primary focus in the last days of his life. Find a project in your community or register your own project, so that volunteers can find it.”

“All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance, and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence,” King repeatedly stated during his sermons in the 1950s, including the introduction of a street sweeper at the 50th anniversary of Alpha Phi Alpha in Buffalo in 1957.

For more information about volunteering for local service projects or creating a service project, visit www.serve.gov.

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