Celebrating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Celebrating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

by Tech Sgt. Zachary Wilson, 36th Wing Public Affairs
Andersen Air Force Base

ANDERSEN AIR FORCE BASE, Guam --  The 36th Wing Equal Opportunity office's Martin Luther King, Jr. Special Observance Committee is hosting several events this week to honor the memory and legacy of Dr. King on Andersen Air Force Base.

"Our theme this year is 'Remember, Celebrate, Act,'" said Staff Sgt. Ebone Walker, 36th Wing EO director. "All of these days should be considered a day on, not a day off," she said.

March/Block party

The first event, the MLK Jr. observance march and block party, takes place at noon Jan. 16 at the Arc Light memorial. The event features a walk around Arc Light Park, ending at the amphitheater, where participants can honor the memory of Dr. King as a base community, organizers said. The alternate location in the event of rain is at The Hot Spot.

"The event will be similar to last year's event, but will be much larger," Walker said. "This year Andersen Airmen and family members will be joined by (the U.S. Navy's Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron-25 and the U.S. Army's Task Force Talon.)"
The Committee is also working with Andersen Elementary School to ensure students are able to participate.

"This year we timed the event to coincide with a half-day for the school," Walker said. "Once school is out, parents can immediately bring their kids to the march, where some children who made their own posters for the event can use them."

Once the members complete the route, the event organizers are hosting a party where food and music are provided immediately after. The party also features a face painting booth and bounce house.

"Overall, I would like for the participants to understand that Martin Luther King Jr's contributions were not just a part of African-American history, but American history as a whole," said Master Sgt. Warren Hines, Committee president. "We are all the benefactors of the dues paid by MLK Jr and other civil-rights activists; they are the reason that the color-line has been erased and the glass-ceiling shattered."

Day of Caring

The Committee has worked to identify and support several volunteer events in the local area as part of the group's "Day of Caring," Jan. 20, where Team Andersen members can work to serve the community in the spirit of Dr. King, organizers said.
"The goal of this project is to give back to the community through volunteering and hopefully expose our Airmen to a project they would like to continue helping with during their time here," Hines said.

The volunteer opportunities include the Airman's Attic, United Service Organization, Island Girl Power,  Department of Youth Affairs, and Guam Animals in Need. People wishing to volunteer at any of these organizations can contact the groups individually or Hines at 366-1407 or Tech. Sgt. Erica Dorval at 366-4519.

MLK Birthday Celebration

The Committee is hosting a Martin Luther King, Jr., birthday celebration at 1 p.m. Jan. 21 at Andersen Elementary in the Dolphin Theater.

This event, which is geared toward 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders, features a guest speaker from the Andersen community as well as an essay contest where the winners will be recognized. Each grade has its own theme.

"As a committee, we felt that it was important to involve the base children, because they will be charged with carrying on MLK's dream moving forward," Hines said.

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