By Bob McElroy USAG Humphreys Public AffairsJanuary 17, 2017
CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea -- More than 300 members of the Humphreys community braved the sub-freezing weather to participate in a candlelight vigil and march at the Super Gym on Jan. 12 to honor the life, legacy and teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Entitled "Remembering the Dream," the event was hosted by the Soldiers of 4th Battalion, 2nd Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade. This year marks the 32nd annual national observance of King's birthday.
This event was the first of three at Camp Humphreys to honor King. The second was the 7th Annual Martin Luther King Basketball tournament which drew men's and women's teams from Areas I, II, III, Osan, Suwon and Kunsan Air Bases. The third event is a Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. observance on Jan. 31. U.S. Forces Korea commanding general Gen. Vincent K. Brooks will be the featured speaker.
The evening began with songs of hope and promise and an elegant dance performance by young members of the Burning Bush Gospel Services.
The keynote speaker was Command Sgt. Maj. Derrick Merriwether, the 2nd Combat Aviation Brigade command sergeant major.
Merriwether emphasized that this year's national theme is "The Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday: A Day On, Not a Day Off."
Calling King "…one of the greatest leaders of the 20th century," Merriwether said King showed what a group of people working together for positive change can accomplish.
Merriwether shared a story of his mother in Detroit and how King inspired her to persevere even in the face of prejudice and injustice.
My mom went to college and studied accounting. After she graduated she looked for a place where she could take her certified public accountant exam. She found one in Dallas but when she went there to take the test they turned her away because she was a person of color. Undaunted she persevered until she found a center that would test her.
"She passed and became a CPA, later she worked as a senior accountant for the City of Detroit and Mayor Coleman Young," Merriwether said.
Following Merriwether's remarks, the audience moved outside for the march. Slowly they formed, a dozen or so people per row, each with an electric candle, leaders up front, unit guidons behind them.
They walked slowly, talking quietly, Soldiers, Family Members, Civilians and Retirees. Down the road from the Super Gym the group rounded a traffic circle and began the return trip. As they neared the finish they walked arm in arm.
As they finished, people lingered, seemingly not ready to break up the group and return to the warmth of the gym. But return they did for the final inspiration of the event, a dramatic reading of King's "I Have a Dream" speech by Staff Sergeant Christopher L. Stephenson of 2nd CAB.
The evening concluded with a presentation of unit streamers and the cutting of the cake by the host's leaders, Lt. Col. John S. Woo, Command Sgt. Maj. Mark E. Carl and Merriwether.