By Russell Sellers, Army Flier StaffJanuary 21, 2011
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- "Life's most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others'" was the question Martin Luther King, Jr. asked in his "Conquering Self-Centeredness" speech in Montgomery, Ala., Aug. 11, 1957.
That question was the theme of the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Program at the Post Theater Jan. 13.
The event was meant to reflect on the accomplishments of the famous civil rights leader and to promote the continuation of his work.
Rose Evans-Gordon, City of Dothan municipal judge and event guest speaker, spoke about her own experiences in trying to help others.
"As I pondered the (event theme) I was honored that somebody thought I had enough sense to answer that question," she said. "I have learned we may never know the results of our actions, but we know if we do not act, nothing will ever change."
Evans-Gordon touched on a variety of topics such as education and self-improvement, but also talked about how these things have an effect on the whole society.
"It is a great blessing to do service in the community and do work for others that is meaningful and enjoyable," she said. "It is true that our service to others or to a cause is one of the ways we will define our life's legacy. True success and purpose is not determined by making money, but by building better communities and societies in which to live."
Col. James Muskopf, Fort Rucker garrison commander, also spoke about the importance of service to others and about the legacy of the man the event was meant to celebrate.
"(King) taught that through non-violence and service to one another, problems such as hunger, homelessness, prejudice and discrimination can be overcome," he said. "As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday, Americans across the country and people around the world will celebrate his life and work."
Attendees of the program also heard a variety of musical selections by the Directorate of Training and Doctrine Music Ensemble and a saw a performance by the Glory to Him Church of Ozark Praise Dancers.
At the conclusion of the event, Muskopf presented Evans-Gordon with a commemorative plaque to thank her for her service and for being the event speaker.
Timothy Knighton, Fort Rucker Equal Employment Opportunity Manager and event coordinator, thanked those who attended and those who helped put the event together, and reminded everyone the reason for the event.
"Today, we've honored the memory of (King) and the timeless values that he taught us such as truth, courage, justice, compassion, humility and service to others," Knighton said. "I can't think of a better way to address community concerns than through community action and community service. I encourage each of you to continue (King's) dream for a free and equal society, affording equality of opportunity for all."