JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- Brooke Army Medical Center hosted an observance Jan. 18 to celebrate the live and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Brig. Gen. Jeffrey Johnson, BAMC commanding general, opened the ceremony by highlighting King's lifelong commitment to serving others.
"Today I would like to encourage you to take some time to reflect on Martin Luther King's courage and conviction," the general said. "A life devoted to selfless service and the relentless pursuit of the dream of a better tomorrow for all Americans."

The commander encouraged others to do their part to help influence change in the world.

"By committing ourselves to noble struggles, we become better as individuals and as citizens of our nation and world," Johnson said. "I believe that everyone has the power to influence change in some way, leaving this world a better place tomorrow than it is today."

Dr. Isaac Hampton, the command historian from U.S. Army South and guest speaker for the event, talked about where we were as a nation in the 1960's and where Dr. King would want us to be today. Hampton, an author himself, based his remarks on King's literary writings.

"Dr. King's vision for American society was a community of love and justice, an integrated society, an end to racial hatred and racial injustice and an end to economic exploitation," Hampton said.

"The road to success is always under construction and America has always pushed the progressive envelope to be better," Hampton said. "If we as a people are to make Dr. King's dream of a beloved community a reality, we have to continue to come together. It all starts at home with our children and families. We are their first role models, mentors, tutors, or coaches."

During the ceremony, Robert G. Cole Middle School student Seleste Cavazos and High School student Avea Walters read their essays about what Martin Luther King's legacy meant to them.

"To me the part I appreciated the most was listening to the different perspectives," said Command Sgt. Maj. Albert Crews. "American values are very easy to talk about, or read about, but it's another thing when we stand by our convictions and values and we live it."

"Dr. King's pursuit of freedom, justice, equality and tolerance -- regardless of creed or color -- should be an inspiration to us all," Johnson said.