Thunderbolts march to honor MLK

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Photo by Senior Airman JAMES HENSLEY

In a familiar scene, Thunderbolts gathered in remembrance of the march on Washington D.C. that Martin Luther King Jr. led in 1963.

The event was held to celebrate the success of the civil rights movement up to that point, and to honor King and those who stood with him. One guest speaker shared his thoughts on the subject.

“There were a lot of things which led up to the march on Washington, D.C., like the boycotts, sit-ins and the desegregation of University of Alabama when the governor stood at the doors not letting black students in,” said Ret. Chief Master Sgt. Ronald Davis. “For me, it wasn’t about the hatred because if it wasn’t for those six men getting together to have that march, who knows where our country would be right now. I think we’ve made great strides, but there’s still room to go. I work for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the U.S. has 80,000 charges of discrimination annually in the workplace. That tells me we still have discrimination in the country.”

According to Davis, it doesn’t matter if it’s judging one’s gender, sexual orientation or color of skin, discrimination is discrimination.

King continued to fight for what he believed in, leaving a positive impact to this day.

“King was a well-known civil rights activist and the biggest impression he left on me was his approach to the movement,” said Tech. Sgt. Jose Castro, Detachment 12, 372nd Training Squadron F-35 Lightning II and F-16 Fighting Falcon weapons instructor. “King was a nonviolent religious activist and stood by his beliefs despite everyone who was against him. He had plenty of opportunities to take the easy way out against racism and discrimination, but he stuck to his approach.”

The purpose of the event was to remember the actions of the men and women who fought for their civil rights and to honor King.

“We wanted to show what King represents to Airmen and to remember his legacy,” Castro said. “Martin Luther King Jr. Day isn’t just a day off but a time to bring awareness of what he accomplished and what it is we are trying to accomplish for the future.”