Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. remains an iconic figure, evidenced by the tens of thousands who came to Washington D.C. to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the historic march on Washington and his "I Have a Dream" speech. The passage of time has only served to deepen our understanding of the importance of Dr. King's words and of his life's work. Americans across the country will honor his teachings of nonviolence and equal rights by observing this national holiday; many will close their businesses for the day to devote that time to a national day of community service.

This holiday symbolizes our national commitment to a society based on the principles of freedom, justice and equality for all people. As the Strength of our Nation, the United States Army works every day to achieve the dream envisaged by Dr. King a half century ago. We strive to lead our Nation by embracing the strengths of diverse people in an inclusive environment. Soldiers from every walk of American life join our ranks each year, standing shoulder to shoulder as we endeavor to follow Dr. King's example and honor his memory by reaffirming our commitment to the ideals he championed.

We ask our entire Army Family to use this occasion as an opportunity to engage in community activities to help others in need. We encourage A my units and agencies to plan and execute appropriate commemorative activities to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day. By living our Army Values, which embody all those ideals advanced by Dr. King, we continue to be Army Strong!