By Cpl. Lee Min-hwi (USAG-Yongsan)January 21, 2009
YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea - Nearly 400 Yongsan community members celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the South Post Chapel Jan. 18, remembering and commemorating his life and legacy.
The ceremony began with a vigil march from Collier Field House to South Post Chapel. Marchers braved the cold winter weather to honor America's slain civil rights leader.
"Tonight, we are here to honor and celebrate and remember Dr. Martin Luther King, our true American hero," said Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity President Spencer Walton. "He taught us to believe in the dream that in one day America will live up to the idea that all people are created equal."
During a musical performance, members from Yongsan Collective Protestant Service sang "Men of Valor." As he did last year, Aris Wilkins, a senior in the Seoul American High School, delivered the famous Dr. King speech, "I Have a Dream."
"Although most of us were not in the time of Dr. King, we know that he had a dream that people will not be judged by color of skin, but content of our character," said Gloria Baker, guest speaker. "Dr. King created a legacy-a legacy of social action, of peace and of nonviolent education program."
More than a dozen organizations had representative coming forward to light candles. USAG-Yongsan Commander Col. Dave Hall also participated in the tribute.
"It's so valuable for us to come together as a community, recognizing our diversity, but more importantly, recognizing our unity," Hall said. "I believe our community has never been stronger."
Walton said ceremonies like this would help the younger generation remember the contributions of Dr. King to America and renew many people's spirit to volunteer to join his works.
"This is my fourth year of participating to this event," said Kimberly Hicks, a history and English teacher of SAHS. "Dr. Martin Luther King has set a path to improving equality and justice. It is phenomenal because his civil rights movement paved the way for equality towards various groups of people in these days."
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. coordinated the ceremony.
"I am so pround of the community's effort in the program tonight," Hall told attendees. "Dr. King's spirit lives on. Together, communities can make a difference."