Martin Luther King Day not just another day

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Jasmine Barnes
  • 52nd Fighter Wing Equal Opportunity
This year will mark the 27th observance of Martin Luther King Day.

It's important we take time to reflect on the many contributions King provided to our great nation during this national celebration.

People from every race, creed and color have the opportunity to truly enjoy the freedoms written in our Constitution through his relentless fight toward equality.

King became a key leader and supporter of the civil rights movement beginning in the late 1950s. He played a pivotal role in voicing concerns of violence, segregation and discrimination. King eloquently illustrated his vision of unification Aug. 28, 1963, in his famous "I Have a Dream" speech.

Addressing more than 250,000 listeners at our nation's capital, his voice resounded, "I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal ... And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, 'Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!'"

The implication of King's address is evident in the liberties all Americans share today though these words were spoken more than forty years ago. King and his followers continued to press toward a free America despite the hardships he faced, being verbally taunted, arrested and jailed frequently. Every Armed Forces member enjoys "an environment in which service members are ensured an opportunity to rise to the highest level of responsibility possible in the military profession, dependent only on merit, fitness and capability" because of his dedication.

Today, I encourage you to look at Martin Luther King Day not as another "day off" but remember the importance one life can make in achieving equality.