ATLANTIC OCEAN (NNS) -- USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Sailors gathered aboard the ship to remember and honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in a ceremony hosted by the command's Heritage Cultural Committee (HCC), Feb. 3.
Truman delayed its celebration of King's life nearly two weeks after the Jan. 17th national day of observation, to ensure all crew members could participate following the post deployment stand down.
The ceremony included an a cappella rendition of the National Anthem by "Truman Idol" winner Yeoman Seaman (SW) Marshondra Miller, separate performances by Truman's Praise Team and Gospel Choir, and a reading of King's "I Have a Dream" speech.
"King was the world's symbol of hope," said Senior Chief Culinary Specialist (SW/AW) Darryl Carr, master of ceremony. "His dreams of yesterday and tomorrow are inspiring and profound."
Three members from Truman's Praise Dance Team performed "The Passion", an interpretive dance that allowed the audience to appreciate the power of their soundless message.
"I was left speechless from their performance," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate [Fuels] 3rd Class (AW/SW) Tiffany Thomas. "Their wordless dance was very powerful, just like King."
A highlight of the event was the reading of King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech read by Lt. Erick Stroud.
"When Lt. Stroud read the speech, it really made me remember what Dr. King was trying to accomplish and how far we've come since his time," said Aviation Boatswains Mate [Handling] Airman (AW) Charles Lynch.
"I wanted to read the whole speech because most people don't know what is said before or after 'I have a Dream,'" said Stroud. "I was nervous, but I was also calm because no one could say his speech better than he did, so there is no competition. King was definitely inspiring, confident in who he was, and a motivator who knew how to get his point across and communicate effectively. He was a peacemaker, and that's very important when facing such obstacles as he did."
Following the choir's rendition of the Jonathan Nelson song, "Smile", USS Harry S. Truman Commanding Officer, Capt. Joseph Clarkson, reminded the audience that although King's birthday is a recognized holiday in which many have the day off from work, the day is also campaigned as a day 'on'; a day in which people should strive to serve their communities and help one another.
"Let's dedicate ourselves to continue that dream," said Clarkson. "This isn't a day of comfort and convenience, but a day to challenge ourselves."
Following the ceremony, crew members were reminded of the impact King had on the history and future of the United States.
"This ceremony made me feel history exists in us today, and it can still make me feel inspired," said Logistics Specialist Seaman Zavius Corbin.
For more news from USS Harry S. Truman, visit http://www.navy.mil/local/cvn75/.