REDSTONE ARSENAL, Alabama - Growing up in Birmingham, Alabama, gave one U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command employee a unique view of the civil rights movement and the importance of Black History Month to the nation.Kara Pleasant works at USASMDC's Space and Missile Defense Center of Excellence as a program analyst creating a bridge between the CoE and the command's G-1 personnel office and recruiting new talent for the CoE. Pleasant says while she has not experienced adversity as a black woman at USASMDC, Black History Month is still an important observance in the nation. She said it is vital to remember the United States' past, including the civil rights movement, to ensure the nation does not repeat its mistakes."If you don't acknowledge where you've come from, you're doomed to repeat the past, and it's important to measure how far we've come," said Pleasant.Pleasant said being from Birmingham gives her an interesting insight of the civil rights movement, even though she is too young to have experienced the movement first hand. She said her family members who lived in Birmingham during that time and participated in the demonstrations and marches, have shared their stories with her since she was young."My grandparents and older uncles were all part of the civil rights movement. Some of them were even in Selma," said Pleasant. "It's really nice to sit around the table and hear their stories to see how far we've grown as individuals and as a country."Pleasant said her grandmother lived near civil rights activist Pastor Fred Shuttlesworth, who worked with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr."On Christmas day in 1956 F.L. Shuttleworth's home was bombed. My grandmother lived on the street next to his, and she felt the impact of the bomb," said Pleasant. "When my family gets together they talk about how they'll never forget that Christmas and what happened."Pleasant says that Shuttleworth's activism made a huge impact on her family and the nation, which is why his legacy lives on in Birmingham."Now the street (where he lived) is named F.L. Shuttlesworth drive and the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport was named after him too."Pleasant said her grandmother was pleased to see how far the nation has come and the opportunities available to her grandchildren that were not available to her when she was young."My grandmother always said that seeing her grandkids living the dream was an amazing thing, and I'm glad she was able to see it before she passed away," said Pleasant.Pleasant said it is important to remember the past and how the nation used to be, but it is also important not to live in the past or let the nation's history drag people down today."We should reflect on the improvements we've made," Pleasant said. "I don't think you should wallow in the history, or let it defeat you, or let it create animosity for what's going on today, but it's definitely something to reflect on and see how far you've come."