OAK HARBOR, Wash. - (NNS) -- Sailors and civilians attended a Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration at the Naval Air Station Whidbey Island (NASWI) Chapel, Jan. 17.
Martin Luther King, Jr. would have been 85 years old Jan. 15. He was an American pastor, activist, humanitarian and leader in the civil rights movement. He is best remembered for his role in the advancement of civil rights using nonviolence based on his Christian beliefs.
"If you can't fly, run. If you can't run, walk. If you can't walk, crawl. But, by all means keep moving," King, Jr., said.
NASWI Deputy Command Chaplain, Lt. Cmdr. Jonathan Rosemary, said that when we hear the words of Dr. King we are reminded that the freedom we enjoy was dearly purchased and that we still have much work to do.
"This is a day to remember not only an incredible man who gave so much for his community, but a day to remember who it is and who we are as Americans," Rozema said. "To ensure the message and reality of 'free at last' remains both a dream and a calling that will one day be a reality here in this place."
Rozema said he is personally moved by King's story, life, and legacy.
"As a minister myself I am in awe of the incredible courage, commitment, leadership and oratory skills of Martin Luther King," Rozema said. "He was so young and did so much in his short life."
According to Capt. Darryl Walker, Electronic Attack Wing Pacific commander, King had an influence in his life as well as he believes had an influence on everyone.
"I'm from a military family, and when I was a military child we played outside with all of the military children regardless of race," Walker said. "The military is the best place to look when it comes to diversity, opportunity, and acceptance.
King was truly about acceptance with out regard to where someone came from, said Walker.
"It's great being here," said Aviation Electrician's Mate 2nd Class Heidi Dahlin. "We are supporting and celebrating Martin Luther King, and we have our command leaders participating.
According to Rozema, NASWI worked to set the standard for overcoming barriers and working together, and that NASWI team is not just a logo emblazoned on a wall.
"I believe that celebrating the legacy of Dr. King reminds Sailors that there is a sacred honor and special purpose on all of our lives," Rozema said. "As Americans we have an incredible gift in our freedom that we must not take for granted."
The 2014 national theme, "A Day on! Not a day off!" is meant to motivate people across the nation to observe the federal holiday on Jan. 20 as a day of service to help out their surrounding community and to not take the day off.
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