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    USS Ronald Reagan Celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

    USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) Sailors commemorate Martin Luther King Junior Day

    Photo By Petty Officer 1st Class Markus Castaneda | 240116-N-WI365-1025 YOKOSUKA, Japan (Jan. 16, 2024) Capt. Daryle Cardone, commanding...... read more read more



    Courtesy Story


    The Diversity Committee of the U.S. Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier, USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), hosted a celebration Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his historical contributions January 16, 2024, on the aft mess decks.
    King was a civil rights activist who fought against discrimination through means of peace and civil-disobedience. He led the civil rights movement in the United States from the mid-1950’s until his death in 1968. King’s leadership played an unforgettable role in a movement that paved the way for civil rights amongst all communities.
    “Today, we honor the enduring legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., aboard a vessel that epitomizes the very ideals he championed: Positive visions of leadership, unity, and justice,” said Capt. Daryle Cardone, Ronald Reagan’s commanding officer. “The USS Ronald Reagan, our nation’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier, is a living testament to Dr. King’s vision and shows what we can achieve when we come together.”
    During the event Lt. Jacob Meyer shared a story highlighting King’s legacy, Gunner’s Mate 3rd Class Abdramane Tolo recited King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, and the ceremony concluded with a cake cutting.
    “King fought for equal human rights regardless of your skin color,” explained Machinist’s Mate 1st Class Keaira Davis, a member of the diversity committee aboard Ronald Reagan. “He also advocated so that African-Americans would have the same opportunities for education and careers.”
    During the era of racial-segregation, African Americans were prohibited from equal rights and often separated or denied entry at public locations such as restaurants and on public transportation. King began speaking out with hope to inspire change.
    “I look to the day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character,” recited King during his famous “I have a dream” speech.
    Thanks to King’s advocacy amongst many others, in 1964 the Civil Rights Act was signed into law. Discriminatory practices in employment were banned, and African-Americans were ensured equal access to restaurants, public transport, and other public spaces.
    “Today, I have the leisure and luxury of choosing my own career path, I work in a male dominated career, engineering, as a black female,” said Davis. “King’s fight for basic human rights encompasses all communities, and we would not have the lives we have today if he’d never demanded change.”
    King shared his hopes that society could grow to not discriminate, which eventually did inspire change. Once the door was open, other communities could begin their fight for equality as well.
    “Women can now obtain any career they desire, and can have children on their own,” said Davis. “Gay marriage has been legalized, and society has progressed significantly towards acceptance.”
    One of King’s most prominent messages during his “I have a dream” speech was his wish to see children playing alongside one another without judgment for their racial differences.
    “My nieces and nephews can have diverse friends,” told Davis. “When I have children, I have no fear they will be judged for the color of their skin.”
    The changes King fought for paved the way for a future where people can come together to celebrate their differences instead of spreading hatred.
    “Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the pioneers of bringing unity between races,” stated Yeoman 2nd Class Iratio Reid, a member of the diversity committee. “This unity allows us to complete our mission as a team.”
    The U.S. Navy is an incredibly diverse career field where anyone can be successful as long as they put the work in. Opportunities for advancement and leadership positions are available to all Sailors, placing work ethic above race. On November 2, 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed into law the King Holiday Bill, establishing a national holiday to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The bill would cement the third Monday in January of each year as a day to remember King, his legacy, and the cause he stood for.
    “Dr. King's work is not done, but neither is his witness stilled,” said President Ronald Reagan in a proclamation regarding Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 1988. “…We must reaffirm in every generation the lessons of justice and charity that Dr. King taught with his unflinching determination, his complete confidence in the redeeming power of love, and his utter willingness to suffer, to sacrifice, and to serve.”


    Date Taken: 01.16.2024
    Date Posted: 01.16.2024 05:13
    Story ID: 461856
    Location: YOKOSUKA, JP

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