Commentary

January 18, 2013

MLK: Service, conviction, dreams

by 2nd Lt. Kasey Vaughn
47th Flying Training Wing Equal Opportunity

LAUGHLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Texas — This year marks the 30th anniversary of the creation of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. The holiday gives us a chance to stop and remember the work of not only King, but of all of those who persevered through the Civil Rights Movement to end segregation and improve this great nation.

Starting his career as the pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Ala., in 1954, Dr. King quickly became an executive committee member for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored Peoples. From this position, he was able to become a leader of the first great, nonviolent protest of its kind during the Civil Rights Movement: The Montgomery Bus Boycott. The boycott lasted 382 days during which the African-American citizens of Montgomery found solace in speeches given by King at his Church. During the boycott, King was arrested, his home was bombed and he was personally abused. He emerged from the boycott a premier leader, not only within the NAACP, but also within the entire civil rights movement.

Between 1956 and his assassination in 1968, King traveled all over the United States speaking more than 2,500 times. He covered more than six million miles on his journeys, speaking wherever he saw injustice and furthering the cause for civil rights legislation. In 1963, Dr. King organized a demonstration in downtown Birmingham, Ala., one of the primary battlegrounds of the civil rights movements. During the event, dogs and fire hoses were set on the demonstrators and King was jailed. However, the demonstration accomplished its intentions, as the brutality against the peaceful demonstrators drew attention nationwide. While in jail, King outlined his views on nonviolent protest in the famous “Letters from Birmingham Jail” and began planning his most famous speech, to be heard soon after.

Following his release, King and his supporters began planning for a massive, collaborative, peaceful demonstration in the nation’s capital. On August 28, 1963, more than 200,000 people marched to the foot of the Lincoln Memorial in the National Mall. There, King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech, calling for the United States to live out its creed and ensure, ‘all men are created equal.’

The march on Washington, D.C., and King’s speech, resonated even in areas where there had previously been little to no racial tension. The Jim Crow Laws and other segregation legislation were suddenly being questioned nationwide. On July 2, 1964, less than a full year after King’s speech, Congress enacted the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that outlawed major forms of discrimination against minorities.

King continued his nonviolent approach to changing the nation until his untimely death in 1968, ultimately encouraging the passing of multiple laws that helped to end segregation and inequality.

On November 2, 1983, after years of requests for a holiday to commemorate King, President Ronald Reagan signed Martin Luther King Jr. Day into law. The day is commemorated on the third Monday in January. In 1994, Congress designated the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday as a national day of service and charged the Corporation for National and Community Service with leading this effort. The MLK Day of Service is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service — a “day on, not a day off.” The Department of Defense has adopted this theme and the entire holiday weekend is a dedicated weekend of service.

The Southern California, Riverside community is holding it’s 3rd Annual Honoring the Dream Candlelight Prayer Vigil on Monday between 4 and 6 p.m. in the City Hall’s breezway. For further information call 951-288-4375. For events in different cities, search the Internet with: MLK JR 2013 events Southern California. For ideas on how to serve, visit http://mlkday.gov/about/serveonkingday.php

Remember, Jan. 21 is not just a day off of work — it is a day for service.

(Contributions to the article were made by the 452d AMW PA office.)




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo/Megan Crusher

‘The Spirit of Ronald Reagan’ gets nose art

U.S. Air Force photo/Megan Crusher Col. Russell Muncy, commander, 452nd Air Mobility Wing, March Air Reserve Base, California, and U.S. Congressman Ken Calvert, California’s 42nd district, unveil C-17 original nose art, creat...
 
 
AFN courtesy photo

Hollywood’s Oscar shout outs for U.S. military

AFN courtesy photo From left, Eric Gabriel, Army Maj. Rosy Poulos, Patrice “Rock” Grant, Air Force Staff Sgt. Rob Harden and Fabian Montgomery, American Forces Network employees, work the red carpet at the Oscars to provide...
 
 

452 AMW QUARTERLY AWARD WINNERS

2nd Lt. Jim Lambert, 452nd Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron Company Grade Officer of the Quarter Senior Airman Anahi Ledezma, 452nd Communications Squadron Airman of the Quarter Staff Sgt. Paul Bugar, 729th Airlift Squadron NCO of the Quarter Master Sgt. John R. Hershey Jr., 752nd Aircraft Maintenance Squadron SNCO of the Quarter
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo / Megan Crusher

March Field FES hosts Riverside County Chief’s Association meeting

U.S. Air Force photo / Megan Crusher Eliot M. Cooper (center), assistant fire chief and C. Christianson (left), assistant chief of training, give Patrick Reitz, fire chief, Idyllwild Fire Protection District, a tour of the Marc...
 
 
163rd Security Forces Squadron courtesy photo

March Airmen respond to helicopter crash

163rd Security Forces Squadron courtesy photo A UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter rests on its side at Ramona Airport, Ramona, California, Jan. 20, 2015, after crashing. Seven Airmen from the 163rd Reconnaissance Wing’s Security For...
 
 
Figure-2

Dietary supplements: How safe are they really?

Walk into a health food store today and you can be overwhelmed by shelves piled with dietary supplements. What’s going on? For the past ten years the popularity of dietary supplements has increased steadily. Supplements are a...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin