'We shall overcome';19th ESC reenacts civil rights march
February 11, 2014
DAEGU GARRISON -- The 19th Expeditionary Sustainment Command (ESC) reenacted the Selma to Montgomery march led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., embedding core values of ethnic equality and justice to the Soldiers, Jan. 13, on U.S. Army Garrison Daegu's Camp Henry.
In the afternoon, Soldiers of various racial backgrounds and different rank patches appeared one by one in front of the headquarters building. Soon after, the arrival of Brig. Gen. Stephen E. Farmen, 19th ESC commanding general, shaped up the formation and led the march as the senior leader.
The formation represented a seamless blend of racial diversity, consisted of Caucasians, African Americans, Asians and more. U.S. Soldiers and Korean Augmentation to the United States Army (KATUSAs) were incorporated in the march, reflecting a greater diversification. Ranks from enlisted military members to senior officers coexisted within the march displaying harmony among the Soldiers.
Along with Farmen, Sgt. Maj. Nathaniel H. Hatchett, 19th ESC G-6 sergeant major, led the march singing 'We shall overcome.' The front rank of the march was composed of Soldiers holding up Martin Luther King Jr.'s posters and other photos of the real march that took place decades ago.
"It was a great marching in front of the formation with the commanding general," Hatchett said. ?"He knew a lot about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. plight in life, and his participation in the march sent the message that he supports what Dr. King stood for."
Although the reenacted march the 19th ESC conducted was much shorter than the actual one which occurred in Alabama, it symbolizes a profound meaning. It represented how far humanity has come over time and delivered a historic lesson for many of the Soldiers marching in the formation.
The march officially concluded when the formation arrived at the Camp Henry Theater, Hatchett started off the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. observance by reciting the 'I have a dream' speech bridging decades of generation gap.
"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character, I have a dream today!" Hatchett exclaimed.
Soldiers seated at the theater stood up from the chairs, delivering a standing ovation. The image embracing Soldiers with diverse cultural backgrounds portrayed a dynamic impression of equality and fairness.
Specifically, during the observance it was stunning to perceive a flawless mixture, integrating the U.S. national flag and the Korean national flag that the KATUSAs had on their right arms.
"Although Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s civil movement during his time was a struggle to achieve rights for black people, I think that his legacy implies much more today", said Pfc. Kim Sang-yeun, 19th ESC Inspector General Office administration specialist.
"Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his supporter?'s efforts have made an environment where Soldiers from various nationalities like me to be in this formation."
At the closing session of the commemoration, notes of both the U.S. and South Korea?'s national anthem occupied the theater?'s atmosphere. The Martin Luther King's reenactment and observance ceremony wrapped up with Farmen and Command Sgt. Maj. Robert F. Austin, 19th ESC command sergeant major, handing out a gift of appreciation to Hatchett for his touching speech.
The Martin Luther King Jr. march entails historic significance for many of the Soldiers serving in the Army. It discharged a strong message that all people are important and equal regardless of their race. Soldiers received a powerful message encouraging them to live by higher standards and abide by sets of value that teaches them to treat all people fairly with justice.