DJIBOUTI — The U.S. Embassy in Djibouti hosted a ceremony celebrating the 34th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day at the embassy Jan. 19.
In attendance were multiple high ranking government officials, including the Djiboutian Prime Minister Dileita Mohamed Dileita.
To start the ceremony, the Djiboutian national anthem was sung by Abdi Robleh Doualeh, the composer of the national anthem, followed by the U.S. national anthem sung by U.S. Navy Second Class Petty Officer Lillian Moss, Combined Joint Task Force -Horn of Africa strength management supervisor.
"This is the largest public diplomacy reception of the year," said James Swan, U.S. Ambassador to Djibouti. "I believe Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., has special resonance for our African partners here in Djibouti and throughout the continent and it's important for us to celebrate his accomplishments."
At the ceremony, an exhibit honoring African-American history in the Horn of Africa and in the United States was placed on display by Don Dodson, a project coordinator at Camp Lemonnier.
"Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., made such an impact all over the world, especially here in Africa," said Dodson. "The collection of historical artifacts here influenced from magazines, to stamps to comic books shows how his influence encompassed the earth."
At the ceremony guests enjoyed both native African and American foods while socializing and listening to music.
"The life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., offer lessons to us all, of his struggle for equality, unity and justice," said Swan. "He is one of only two Americans with a national holiday in his name. I believe this speaks magnitudes of his impact on American history."
The campaign for a federal holiday in honor of Dr. King began after his assassination in 1968. President Ronald Reagan signed the act into law in 1983 and was first observed in 1986.
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