FORT STEWART, Ga. - The 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, hosted the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Observance, January 24, at the Main Post Chapel on Fort Stewart, Georgia, in honor of King's life and legacy.
The ceremony was organized by equal opportunity leader Staff Sgt. Christopher Harris, a distribution fuel noncommissioned officer-in-charge assigned to 1st Battalion, 64th Armored Regiment, 1st ABCT.
"With my background and growing up in Cleveland, Mississippi, this event definitely provided me with the opportunity to reflect on the progress we've made," said Harris.
The theme of the event was, "Remember, Celebrate, Act." It was apparent from the moment guests entered the chapel with a display of King's life to greet them at the door. The 3rd ID band filled the room with up-tempo music as guest took their seats.
The ceremony began with a tribute video narrated by King's voice. Its message focused on how time can be used constructively or destructively. In his closing remarks, King stated the time is always right to do the right thing.
Following the video was a powerful reenactment of King's, "I Have a Dream" speech, recited by Sgt. Shaniqua Jones, Sgt. Jordan Franco, Sgt. Bryan Stewart and Sgt. Kevin Jones, NCOs assigned to 1-64 AR BN.
Following their reenactment, the NCOs departed the podium after delivering Kings famous words, "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God almighty, we are free at last!"
The crowd applauded while guest speaker Maj. William Branch, an operations officer assigned to 1-64 AR BN, made his way to the podium.
"Any greatness observed in me is but a reflection of that, which is in you," said Branch in his opening speech.
During Branch's speech, the crowd was attentive as he spoke passionately about the purpose-driven life that King lived and the journey in, which we too can live a purpose-filled life and perpetuate positive change in this world.
"Purpose is the umbrella under, which all of our efforts should align," said Branch.
In his closing statements, Branch challenged everyone to find motivation, a place to contribute and time to give back generously.
After the ceremony, Harris reflected on the event stating that it meant a lot to him to be involved in planning such a celebration and the feeling of accomplishment he had. He also hoped the speech from Maj. Branch touched and inspired the audience.
Harris said it is important for everyone to understand and carry the theme of the celebration with them. He said we must remember the past, celebrate how far we've come, and continue to act on improving our future.