USS ENTERPRISE, At Sea (NNS) -- Sailors of all rates, ranks and backgrounds aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65) came together in celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Jan. 23.
The Enterprise's Multi-cultural Heritage Committee hosted the ceremony to recognize King for his dream and contributions to American society, and his leadership in the fight for equality.
Key speakers recounted stories of witnessing the impact King had on their personal lives, as well as his effect on our nation and our Navy.
"I was born in 1956 in the state of Alabama, and so as you can imagine, I grew up in a time when Dr. King was sorely needed," said Capt. William C. Hamilton, USS Enterprise commanding officer. "The brilliance of Dr. King was that, while he was a very intelligent man, he also had a vision."
"Actively keeping pace with our nation's diversity, there are now more than 90,000 African-Americans serving in the United States Navy, including 19 active and Reserve flag officers, 105 command master chiefs, and 16 members of the senior executive service," said Rear Adm. Walter E. Carter, commander of Carrier Strike Group 12. "These numbers show that the efforts of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other minority leaders have made a difference in the future of this nation."
A slideshow played on a projection screen to serve as a visual representation of how King lived and who he was. Enterprise's Sailors of the Year recited key portions of King's iconic "I Have a Dream" speech.
"It was definitely powerful," said Machinist's Mate 2nd Class Jose M. Perez, an Enterprise Sailor who attended the ceremony.
During the hour and a half event, Sailors recited poetry and listened to several performances by Enterprise's gospel choir and band. The celebration concluded with a specially prepared cake and ice cream.
"I enjoyed the event," said Personnel Specialist Seaman Anna Chow. "I especially enjoyed the choir and the poem."
Enterprise's Multi-Cultural Heritage Committee works to promote an awareness of the diversity and experience amongst Sailors through entertaining ways while celebrating the crew's cultural diversity.
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