By Pfc Samuel Han (IMCOM)January 18, 2012
YONGSAN GARRISON, Republic of Korea -- U.S. Army Garrison Yongsan (USAG Yongsan) celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Jan. 15 at the Yongsan South Post Chapel to remember the civil rights hero who had fought for equality and justice in the U.S.
The evening kicked off with a vigil march from the Collier Community Fitness Center to a ceremony at South Post Chapel with approximately 500 attendees.
"Tonight, we remember Dr. King and what he lived for," stated Dewayne Kendricks, President of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Mu Phi Lambda Chapter. "As people from different backgrounds come together to hold hands and march together, it is a perfect tribute to what Dr. King lived for."
Community members joined hands as they marched and sang songs, including "This Little Light of Mine" and "We Shall Overcome." Several members also wore their Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity jackets and proudly displayed their fraternity's banners during the march. Alpha Phi Alpha, established in Cornell University in 1906, was the first fraternity for African Americans and wearing the jackets was a tribute to Dr. King's work.
At the South Post Chapel, the community prepared presentations to honor King. Men of Valor, comprised of members from the Yongsan Collective Protestant Service, energized the audience with their gospel-style singing. Seoul American Middle School and High School students highlighted how the community can contribute to equality with a performances of "The Crayon Box that Talked", a candle lighting ceremony, inspirational singing, and a reading of one of Dr. King's sermons. Eddy Nubine, a junior at SAHS who delivered Dr. King's sermon "The Drum Major Instinct," challenged the community to strive for excellence through service, stating, "greatness comes from humble servitude."
Guest speaker Rev. Reginald Eugene Bryant delivered a powerful sermon titled "What is in Your Hands," which complemented USAG Yongsan's 2012 vision of "impacting communities." Bryant encouraged the community to serve with the abilities and possessions that were currently available to them, instead of waiting until they were more "capable" of serving.
"We already have everything we need to help others now, but what are we doing for the community?" Bryant asked. "Let me ask you, what is in your hands?"
USAG Yongsan garrison commander Col. William P. Huber concluded the ceremony, thanking all of those present who had made the ceremony possible, including Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, who coordinated the events. Huber also invited community members to take personal responsibility in accomplishing the 2012 vision of "impacting communities."
"Dr. King believed in the power of individual service in strengthening communities and achieving common goals and challenged every American to do their part," he stated. "And I challenge you to do the same."