African American women honored by 4th MEB
February 23, 2012
FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. - The 92nd Military Police Battalion, 4th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, sponsored the 4th MEB African American Observance and presented the attendees with a ceremony featuring black women in American history and culture, Feb. 21, at Nutter Field House.
A historical account of African American Black History Month was presented by Sgt. Maj. Brian Garbinski, 92nd MP Bn., 4th MEB, 1st ID, rear command sergeant major.
"In 1926, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People leader, legendary historian and educator, Carter G. Woodson, originally founded Negro History Week," said Garbinski.
"Woodson chose February because it coincided with the birthdays of two men who fought for the freedom of American slaves: Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass," he said.
Guest speaker, Sgt. Maj. Michael Horton, Fort Leonard Wood Garrison command sergeant major, native of London, told a personal story recounting a certain day in her military past where nothing went right.
Horton went on to list many African American women in history whose achievements directly impacted the Nation.
"These are all women who have been 'firsts,'" said Horton.
"We have to realize there are 'firsts' occurring every day," she said.
"What I'm trying to say here is that our worst struggles, our worst dreams, our painful experiences cannot compare to those women who have used their determination to live another day, to protect their families, to make a difference in the world," said Horton.
"When we get knocked down, we cannot afford to stay down and say poor me," said Horton.
"If we did then the actions of those that came before us would be in vain," she said.
Continuing the event commemoration was Spc. Shannon Gray, ammunition specialist, Alpha Company, 193rd Brigade Support Battalion, 4th MEB, who read her submission to the Pullman Essay Contest, held in observance of the 2012 Dr. Martin Luther King holiday.
"We are all comprised of the same major components, we're styled by God, ranging in shades from pale to tropical like a rare bouquet of roses, each one flawed to perfection and grown into life with love, we are human," said Gray.
She went on to describe that fear will only hold us back and that Dr. Martin Luther King did not let fear stop him in his pursuit of his dream.
"When we look to our left and our right, we are surrounded by a variety of backgrounds, it's our job to teach the newer generations to see them without division" said Gray.
At the conclusion of Gray's poem, she was awarded a coin of excellence by Garbinski.
Cake was offered to all in attendance at the end of the ceremony.