On Monday, Jan. 21, we honor the life and legacy of a great American, Dr. Martin Luther King Junior. Dr. King was one of the most beloved and dynamic civil rights leaders of this Nation, with a legacy of compassion, justice and equality for all. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is truly a unique event: not only is it a celebration of his birthday, but also a National Day of Service.
In 1983, legislation was signed making Dr. King’s birthday a federal holiday. In 1994, Congress designated MLK Day as a day of service and giving back to our communities, a reflection of his often quoted statement: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?” The theme for this year’s observance is Remember! Celebrate! Act! A Day On, Not A Day Off!
Dr. King served as a Baptist minister and civil rights leader from the mid-1950s until his assassination in 1968. He earned a PhD at the age of 25, and the Nobel Peace Prize when he was only 35 for non-violent resistance to racial prejudice in America. The previous year, at the age of 34, he delivered his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech at the March on Washington. He was a leader with immense personal courage and his love for all people paved the way for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
The U.S. Army and the Southwestern Division are dedicated to leveraging the strength of our diverse force and ensuring equality for all our team members. When individuals succeed, America succeeds. All Soldiers, civilians and family members are a valued part of our team, and their contributions are vital to our success and history. The timeless values Dr. King taught through his example –courage, truth, justice, compassion, dignity, respect, humility and service – are Army and American values. When we celebrate Dr. King’s dream, we celebrate the American dream.
Find a project in your community or register your own project so that volunteers can find it. You can go to www.nationalservice.gov/mlkday for more information and to find ways to support the legacy of Dr. King.
Mission/People/Teamwork – PACESETTERS!
Paul E. Owen, P.E.
Brigadier General, US Army Corps of Engineers
Commander, Southwestern Division