DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. — Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a vital figure of the modern era and a pivotal figure in the civil rights movement. In sermons and speeches, Dr. King’s voice rang out with a call for us to work toward a better tomorrow. His actions inspired men and women, young and old, in this nation and around the world. After a long struggle, legislation was signed in 1983 creating a federal holiday marking the birthday of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. King is the first African American and the first non-U.S. president to have an official legal holiday.
Taking place each year on the third Monday in January, the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service–empowering individuals to strengthen their communities and create solutions to social problems. During his lifetime, King encouraged all citizens to pursue the purpose and potential of America. He strived to realize the dream of equality and a nation that affords freedom and justice for all by applying the principles of nonviolence to make this country a better place to live–creating “The Beloved Community.”
MLK Day of Service is a part of United We Serve, the President’s national call to service initiative.
It calls for Americans from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to our most pressing national problems. The day represents the opportunity to start the year off right by making a positive impact in one’s community. The Department of Defense values those who volunteer. One of the ways it demonstrates this is by honoring distinguished volunteers with the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal. The front of the medal has a five-pointed star with a circular ring over each point; the star, a symbol of the military that also represents outstanding service, is encircled by a laurel wreath, which represents honor and achievement. The reverse has an oak leaf branch, symbolic of strength and potential, with three oak leaves and two acorns along with the inscriptions, “OUTSTANDING VOLUNTEER SERVICE,” and “UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES.”
Join the hundreds of thousands of people who serve on MLK Day and throughout the year. America’s new foundation will be built one community at a time–and it starts with you. So take some time this year on 18 January to remember the great actions of Martin Luther King Jr. and celebrate, but most importantly ensure your actions make the world we live in, better today than it was yesterday!
For more educational material on Martin Luther King Jr. contact the Equal Opportunity office at 520-228-5509.