JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. -- Honoring the life, efforts and accomplishments of Martin Luther King Jr. should be an ongoing process -- not something only recognized one day a year on the federal observance of his birthday, said the keynote speaker during Joint Base Lewis-McChord's Martin Luther King Jr. Remembrance Event Jan. 24.
"I would encourage all of us to look at Doctor King and study his life more than just on the surface," said the Rev. (Dr.) Michael Monroe, the keynote speaker and an Air Force veteran, during the event that honored the activist and Civil Rights Movement leader, who was assassinated in 1968.
"This morning, brothers and sisters, grants us an opportunity to contemplate Doctor King ... to retrospect Doctor King ... to introspect Doctor King," he said, adding that anything less, in his opinion, would be superficial and perfunctory and it would be a shame for it to be just another day on the calendar to have off work.
Hosted by I Corps and the 62nd Airlift Wing, the remembrance event also featured a performance by the JBLM Grace Gospel Service Men's Choir and video presentations on King's life and accomplishments. Observance activities concluded with a 5K run at Heritage Hill, which attracted about 70 participants from throughout the base.
"What an honor it is to be here for this celebration to commemorate the life and the service of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.," said Army Chaplain (Lt. Col.) J.P. Smith, I Corps deputy chaplain. "It's so awesome to be able to sit here today and just think and consider all the things that he did for our great country and for many of us today."
King was an American Christian minister and activist, who became the visible spokesperson and leader in the Civil Rights Movement from 1955 until his death. He is best known for advancing civil rights through nonviolence and civil disobedience and for his leadership and work toward ending legal segregation of African Americans in the South and other parts of the United States.