Commander's Martin Luther King Day Message
January 16, 2013
"I have a dream; that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed -- we hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal." These are among many memorable words spoken by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., whose life and legacy we celebrate Jan. 21.
King's dream was for people to be judged by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin. The Army serves as a testament to this dream realized. In fact, 15 years before King led protest marches in Birmingham, Alabama, President Harry S. Truman ordered the integration of our nation's armed forces, affirming "equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed services without regard to race, color, religion or national origin."
King's dream of a "color blind" society offers us more than an ideal "worth fighting for"; his dream provides us with a goal we should achieve every day in our relationships with people.
Soldiers and civilians of today's Army reflect the rich diversity of the American people, and we can leverage and draw strength from that diversity. By respecting and employing our different backgrounds, experiences, perspectives and skills, we become the best in the world at what we do. By adapting and being culturally aware, we succeed in different environments across this country and around the world.
Thank you for the sacrifices you and your families constantly make. Safely enjoy your weekend, and when it's over, safely return to your unit as well.