News: The third Monday of January: a day to remember MLK Jr.
Story by Lance Cpl. Martin Egnash
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION NEW RIVER, N.C. -- Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a United States federal holiday to celebrate the life and achievements of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It is celebrated on the third Monday of January, close to Martin Luther King’s birthday, Jan. 15.
Many people, including federal employees, students and teachers, receive the day off. They are encouraged to participate in community and humanitarian service activities and programs throughout the day.
King was a civil rights activist and the chief spokesperson for the civil rights movement in the 1960s. He voiced the struggle that African Americans and others were going through to be treated equally.
“Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle,” said King. “And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can only ride your back if it is bent.”
King used nonviolent methods to advance civil rights in American society. He is best remembered for leading the 1963 march on Washington where he delivered his famous “I Have A Dream” speech.
In 1964, he became the youngest person to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He was assassinated four years later.
King’s message of equal rights is just as relevant today as it was five decades ago.
“Equal rights are an extremely important aspect of any U.S. institution,” said Master Sgt. James M. Harris, air station equal opportunity advisor. “Martin Luther King Jr. pioneered the idea that democracy should be a right for all Americans.”
Harris explained that remembering and honoring the civil rights leader ensures that the transgressions of the past will not be repeated.
“Today, equal rights are part of the foundation of our society,” said Harris. “Men and women of all races can compete and pursue their dreams. We owe that to Martin Luther King Jr.”
We are encouraged to reflect on the work and sacrifices of King to achieve equality for all people. As Marines, it is our duty to acknowledge this and treat everybody with dignity and respect.