ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala. -- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. reminded the world that, "Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable. Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals."

He challenged Americans to live up to the ideals in our founding documents, that we are all created equal, endowed with unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Signed into law in January 1983, the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday is a day when the nation pauses to remember King's life and work.

In 1994, Congress designated Martin Luther King Jr. Day as the first and only federal holiday observed as a national day of service and charged the Corporation for National and Community Service with leading this national effort.

Federal, state and local leaders join citizens in honoring King through service projects addressing pressing community needs "A Day On, Not A Day Off."

American people are called to engage in public service and promote peaceful social change.

King's unfinished movement toward equality can be achieved by our united, enduring efforts.

King used the power of words and acts of nonviolent resistance, such as protests, grassroots organizing and civil disobedience to achieve seemingly-impossible goals.

This year, the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service will be recognized on Jan. 21. ANAD's celebration breakfast will be held Jan. 22.

He is honored and remembered in hundreds of statues, parks, streets, squares, churches and other public facilities around the world as a leader whose teachings are increasingly relevant to the progress of humankind and is the only non-president memorialized on the National Mall.

In 1964, at 35 years old, Martin Luther King Jr. became the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize. He was assassinated April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tenn., and posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal.

This year's poster showcases the sentiment of what Dr. Martin Luther Jr. said during his acceptance speech of the Noble Prize in 1964, "I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality." Dr. King is silhouetted in black in the forefront of the poster with his teachings shown in bright colors representing daybreak.

Sources:
Martin Luther King Jr. acceptance speech: NobelPrize.org
Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute: www.deomi.org