FORT BRAGG, N.C. -- Members of the Fort Bragg community joined together to celebrate the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr. during an observance, Jan. 14.
The theme of the observance, hosted by the 82nd Airborne Division and equal opportunity advisors from throughout the installation, centered on encouraging the community to remember the struggle for civil rights in America, and emphasizing that Martin Luther King Jr. Day is more than just a holiday; it's a reminder for people everywhere to let the principle of equality guide their words and deeds.
"Today we especially pay tribute to Dr. King's promotion of public service and non-violent social change toward equality and justice for all," said Brig. Gen. Malcolm B. Frost, deputy commanding general -- support for the 82nd Abn. Div. "His words and legacy are a constant reminder of how one individual, at the right moment in time, can spark a positive change that can result in a better world.
"Such a spark can ignite in others the sense, the duty, and the responsibility to serve the greater good," Frost continued. "I invite you to reflect on the personal example of Dr. King, the meaning of his words, the impact he had, and how we can continue his vision today in our own lives."
Students from Albritton Middle School's chorus shared what they have learned about King's legacy by performing two songs for those in attendance. After their performance, the guest speaker, Rev. Stephon Ferguson, shared his words and reenacted King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech.
King delivered the speech on Aug. 28, 1963, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. for more than 250,000 civil rights supporters during the March on Washington.
Ferguson, who works at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site in Atlanta, said that he believes if King was given a choice as to which time in all of human history he would have wanted to live, King would have chosen to live in the second half of the 20th century.
"That's a strange statement to make, because the world is all messed up and the nation is sick, [there] is confusion all around," Ferguson said of the time period. "But somehow I know that only when it is dark enough can you see the stars.
"As I stand here before you this morning and as we continue to work toward the realization of the American dream, we must do it with love," Ferguson continued.