Abraham Lincoln's Crew Honors and Celebrates MLK's Life

Story Number: NNS150116-24Release Date: 1/16/2015 3:14:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jonteil Johnson, USS Abraham Lincoln Public Affairs

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- Sailors assigned to the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., with the showing of "Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., The Man and the Dream" on the Floating Accommodation Facility, Jan. 16.

Operations department worked with Abraham Lincoln's Diversity Council to show the documentary, "Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., The Man and the Dream".

"This gives us a chance to educate the crew on the accomplishments of Dr. King," said Chief Operations Specialist Frank Thomas, Operations department leading chief petty officer. "We can share his life with everyone, which is something Dr. King fought so hard for."

Thomas said showing this documentary will provide the crew, particularly the younger audience, with some insight on how society treated racism in Dr. King's era, and how it is viewed today.

"Many younger Sailors don't realize how far we've come as a society in terms of racism. They haven't experienced many of the hardships our parents and grandparents had to endure," Thomas said. "I believe that showing "Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., The Man and the Dream" will give them more understanding."

One major goal for Dr. King was equality, not just for African-Americans, but for all people. Thomas believes nothing embodies this more than the Navy.

"In today's Navy, it's amazing how diverse our shipmates are. We come together to serve our country in many ways," Thomas said. "The only color that matters is blue and gold."

By holding events on the mess-decks during chow hours, Sailors are given the opportunity to participate without taking away from the workday.

"I believe showing the documentary will help others understand what African-Americans were facing back then, and what one man was willing to sacrifice to make the world a better place," Smith said. "It's an opportunity for me as an African-American to share the trials and tribulations of my culture with others."

This is only one of many events the operations department will host for Black History Month.

"We plan to attend the trip to Washington D.C., and possibly help the mess decks with providing special meals," Thomas said.

Abraham Lincoln is currently undergoing refueling and complex overhaul (RCOH) at Newport News Shipbuilding a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries.

Abraham Lincoln is the fifth ship of the Nimitz class to undergo a RCOH, a major life-cycle milestone. Once RCOH is complete, the ship will be one of the most modern and technologically advanced Nimitz-class carriers.

For more news from USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72), visit www.navy.mil/local/cvn72/.

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