FORT BENNING, Ga. - Martin Luther King Jr. spent years of his life actively engaged in a war, yet his battlefield differed from the ones known to current-day Soldiers - it was right here in the United States, outside his own front door.

King saluted the same flag as his enemy and was governed by the same laws as those he fought against, but his tactics were those of a quiet rebel willing to temporarily subject himself to battle in pursuit of permanent peace.

Years removed from the legend's time, Fort Benning will join the nation in recalling his contributions to America Thursday at the Benning Conference Center.

"He fought for all people, and that's his legacy," said SFC Edward Dingle.

Dingle, a Maneuver Center of Excellence equal opportunity adviser, said King exemplified many of the Army core values Soldiers are taught today. Strong leadership skills and the ability to always stand up for what's right are examples.

And although the ceremony occurs once each year, Dingle said Soldiers and civilians can always apply lessons taken from King.

"When it comes to dignity and respect, it should be given and not fought for," he said. "Those are the things he stood for, and he's an inspiration."

For more information on the commemorative service, call 706-545-3197/3196.


Faith Tabernacle Community Church pastor COL(R) Roy Plummer, speaker
Commemorative service "Remember! Celebrate! Act! A day on, not a day off!"

11 a.m. to noon Thursday

Benning Conference Center

Other area MLK events:

"What Happens to a Dream Deferred." 12:30 p.m. at the CSU Davidson Student Center. Free. 706-568-2273.

Bi-city Unity Parade of Excellence. 1 p.m. at Colin Powell Parkway in Phenix City, ends at Ninth Street and Broadway in Columbus. Free. 706-761-7414.

Williams Brothers, Debra Snipes and friends gospel concert. 6:30 p.m. at Columbus Civic Center. $22.50-$27.50. 334-614-8903.

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. unity breakfast. 7:10 a.m. at Columbus Ironworks Convention and Trade Center. $15-$30. 706-324-7071.