Fort Detrick celebrates the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
More than 100 people were in attendance to commemorate the life, legacy, and dream of one of our most respected African-American civil rights leaders in history, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., at the Fort Detrick Auditorium Jan. 14.
The celebration -- Remember! Celebrate! Act! A Day On, Not a Day Off! -- was hosted by the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases.
Fort Detrick U.S. Army Garrison Commander Col. Robert O'Brien provided opening remarks and greetings from U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski and Rep. John K. Delaney were read by Sen. Mikulski's special assistant Julianna Albowicz.
It has been more than 50 years since Dr. King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the 1963 March on Washington. This speech and his dream were revisited by Loyola University Maryland professor of theology Dr. Arthur Sutherland who provided the keynote address.
"Dr. King saw that he had a responsibility to lead," said Sutherland as he shared insight into Dr. King and his life. "He led his supporters like they were Soldiers on a mission. His vision for all of America was one free from oppression."
Four USAMRIID Soldiers -- Spc. Narendra Banstola, Spc. Zachary Hornback, Spc. Quedale Phinazee and Pfc. Kevin Hughes -- performed a moving tribute to Dr. King and USAMRIID Commander Col. Thomas Bundt provided closing remarks.
The observance invigorated many to keep Dr. King's legacy and work alive today.
"Martin Luther King, Jr., Day is not just a day of remembrance of a man who stood for equal rights for African-Americans but for a day of equal and fair treatment of all human beings," said Sgt. 1st Class Oyeyemi Akinrefon. "You could be African-American, Hispanic or Native American, or you could be Caucasian or Asian-American, you are part of the great dream Dr. King had for America."