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Joint Base Andrews News

NEWS | Jan. 19, 2023

Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Event brings awareness to Airmen

By Airman 1st Class Austin Pate 316th Wing Public Affairs

Military and local communities were brought together to generate awareness and interest in the life and accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during a Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Event on Jan. 18, 2023.

The event welcomed all JBA organizations and included distinguished visitors such as Terri L. Freeman, Executive Director of the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture, and closing remarks by Col. Todd E. Randolph, 316th Wing and installation commander. Freeman spoke about the History of the Freedom Riders, how Dr. King and the Civil Rights movement turned the tide on discrimination, and his overall legacy of non-violent protests.

“He was not a dreamer, but a man of passion,” said Freeman. “The relevance of his speech today is not so much the dream Dr. King envisioned, but as much as the critical issues he outlined and the creative suffering far too many disenfranchised citizens in our country continue to experience as a part of their daily reality. When individuals are targeted based on race, clothing, religion, sexual orientation, gender or being differently abled, we have to question if civil rights are protected for all.”

The event also included a special presentation by Duncan McDonald, a student at Imagine Andrews Charter School, who read an essay he wrote that honored Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the idea of what his manifested dream would look like in the United States today.

“What would the world look like if his dream came true?” asked McDonald. “I think that the world would finally realize world peace. I believe that Dr. King was right about the dreams he had. I believe that everyone will one day join together and be bold." McDonald continues, "That is what will happen when Dr. King's dream is realized. When that happens, everyone will say that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was right. When his dream is realized, then all humans will prosper for eternity.”

“All of the observance, presentations and events that we put on to educate ourselves, bring a sense of unity and connectedness to all our teammates and every unit and every wing across the Joint Base and community here in the National Capital Region,” said Randolph. “It is us together that is going to make the difference.”

A video of the event is on the JBA Youtube page for those who were unable to attend.