Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Peterson Space Observer

Wing holds 2013 MLK observance

By Wynona James

Special Emphasis Program manager

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — The 21st Space Wing hosted its annual commemorative service in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. from 1-2 p.m. Jan. 16, at the Peterson Air Force Base Chapel. This year’s theme is “Remember, Celebrate, Act — Dr. King’s Dream for Our World.”

The commemorative service featured poetry, historical narratives and music presented by the Air Force Academy Band of the Rockies. The program was free and open to all military and civilian personnel and their families.

“Our special emphasis program does a fantastic job executing these events,” said Col. Chris Crawford, 21st Space Wing commander. “I encourage everyone to take advantage of this opportunity to honor and learn more about Dr. King and his ideals.”

Each year, the nation recognizes the global contributions King made in establishing equal rights.

This year’s observance comes at a time when the country recognizes the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C., which resulted in individuals campaigning for freedom and equal rights for jobs in the United States.

During the early 1960s, King became the primary advocate for nonviolent activism in the civil rights movement where successful protests against racial discrimination in the federal and state laws were accomplished. Throughout the marches, King used a different approach to protest, by encouraging civil rights marchers to refrain from violence by confronting their opponents with peaceful speech and posture, and credits this concept of nonviolent resistance to teachings of Mohandas Gandhi from India.

“I became deeply fascinated by his campaigns of nonviolent resistance,” King said after reading books detailing Gandhi’s teachings and philosophy. “As I delved deeper into the philosophy of Gandhi, my skepticism concerning the power of love gradually diminished, and I came to see for the first time its potency in the area of social reform,” King said.

This holiday occurs on the third Monday in January each year and was established to serve as a time for Americans to reflect on the principles of racial equality and nonviolent social change espoused by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

For more information, call 556-7691.

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