By Mr. Eric Kowal (Picatinny)January 22, 2018
PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. - The Picatinny Arsenal community remembered Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., through a special presentation on Jan. 18 at the Lindner Conference Center.
The Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head, Explosives Ordnance Disposal Technology Division (NSWC IHEODTD), Picatinny Detachment, hosted Dr. Randal D. Pinkett, the founder, chairman, and chief executive of BCT Partners. The company is a multimillion dollar research, consulting, training, technology, and analytics firm headquartered in Newark, New Jersey.
Pinkett, also a spokesman for the National Black MBA Association, wrote the book, Black Faces in White Places, which was named one of the 10 Best Books of 2010.
In his talk to installation employees, Pinkett noted the similarities between American society today and in 1968, the year that King was assassinated.
"In the 50 years from 1968 to 2018, the more things have changed, the more things have stayed the same," Pinkett said, referring to issues such as immigration law and complaints of police brutality.
"That is not to negate the progress we have made, but when 2018 begins to look and feel, and sound like 1968, which it does, it is a wake up call of the loudest proportions," Pinkett said.
"We cannot, and I say cannot allow this trajectory to continue, not in the legacy of Dr. King, not in this country we love so dearly, not in this country we defend so strongly, not in this country we protect so intently. I say to you, Picatinny Arsenal, and I hope you agree, not on our watch, not on our watch, not on our watch, not on our watch."
Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a U.S. federal holiday marking the birthday of the slain civil rights movement leader. King is the only non-president to have a national holiday dedicated in his honor, and the only non-president memorialized on the National Mall in the nation's capital.
The event also featured the singing of the national anthem by the Picatinny Choir, opening remarks by David Roger, NSWC IHEODTD, Picatinny Detachment Director, and Garrison Commander Lt. Col. Jeffrey Ivey. Command Sgt. Maj. Sheila Royal made the closing remarks and Chaplain Terrence Walsh delivered the invocation.