MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Nearly a hundred Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division visited the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis Feb. 16 as a part of Fort Campbell's recognition of Black History Month.
The Lorraine Hotel served as a cornerstone of the 1950s and 1960s Civil Rights movement, and continued to be a symbol for the struggle for equality after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated there. Today, it is the main building of the National Civil Rights Museum, showcasing videos and photos from the past, as well as educating new generations on the history of the movement.
The trip, coordinated by the Fort Campbell equal opportunity office, was a chance for Soldiers to learn and experience the movement for equal rights from a new perspective.
Sgt. 1st Class Arthur Phillips, The division equal opportunity advisor, said the trip was designed to educate and train the Soldiers to help them understand what the Black History Month observances mean.
"It gave more meaning because it allowed those Soldiers to have a hands-on experience on what individuals went through," Phillips said. "The significant time and eras, and how things have changed. It gave the Soldiers more insight and helped them be more of a subject matter expert for the individuals around them."
Spc. Shaw Rivers, a Soldier from Battery F, 1st Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, said that his noncommissioned officers spread the word about the trip, and he put in his name to go. He said the visit helped him learn things that he didn't know about the movement.
"I think it's good because these opportunities don't come around too often," said Rivers. "So the fact that we get a chance to get away from work and learn something and see things outside of Fort Campbell is pretty good."
The museum holds displays on the history of slavery, including a photography exhibit detailing modern slavery and the organizations that seek to end it, along with a walking timeline of the civil rights movement, starting from the days of slavery to the assassination of MLK to today's continued efforts for equality.