COLUMBUS, Ohio, Jan. 24, 2017 —
The Defense Federal Community came together to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during an annual observance ceremony at Defense Supply Center Columbus.
Observed on the third Monday of January each year, Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a federal holiday honoring the service of Dr. King and celebrating his birthday.
The Jan. 19 event inside the DSCC Operations Center auditorium included a dance performance, music, and a presentation by Pastor John T. Boston, II.
During her opening remarks, Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime Commander Navy Rear Adm. Michelle Skubic spoke of the inspiration she has drawn from King’s message of peace and cooperation.
“Dr. King’s legacy compels us to actively champion humanity’s adoption of the values that make us uniquely human – and not just adopt them – but enthusiastically exercise them in our daily lives,” Skubic said.
“Every day provides another opportunity for growth – every day gives us a fresh start – revitalized by a renewed spirit. Each of us must eagerly bear the responsibility to help build up and empower others around us.
“Our history is full of examples of men and women who unselfishly served, both behind the scenes and in the spotlight to help move humanity forward as advocates for positive social change.”
The event included a dance performance by the Columbus Optimistic Ladies and a rendition of the Star Spangled Banner by fourth grader Ms. Milan Yates that brought the audience to their feet in applause.
During Boston’s featured presentation, he reflected on how Dr. King’s philosophy continues to have relevance after nearly half a century.
“Dr. King understood that actions come at a price,” said Boston. “There is actually a cost that we pay to either be indifferent or to take action. The price is usually determined by the difficulty of actually swaying the tide of circumstance.”
Boston spoke of his own familial ties to the King family, and shared experiences of pastoring in southern states with members of his congregation who knew and worked with King during his campaign to improve civil rights.
As a child, he learned Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech for a school project. Boston credits the example set forth by King as the inspiration that led him to a life dedicated to helping others. He has delivered his message of hope to 21 countries on four continents.
He encouraged the audience to remember King’s contributions and to honor his legacy by being present in the struggle towards equality.
“We live in a society that’s charged with racial tensions,” he said. “We have political divides, but we have the responsibility simply as human beings to make a difference in someone else’s life. The easiest path is often the path of least resistance. Resistance comes when we try to make change – when we try to make the difference.”
Boston shared his experiences working with the Columbus Police Department and his realization that despite outward appearances, basic human needs transcend cultural or racial identities.
“When we celebrate the legacy of someone like Dr. King, it’s about making sure that we understand that we’re all a part of the fabric of humanity,” he said. “Every person ignored, overlooked, or underserved – these people represent a loss for each of us individually.”
Following Boston’s presentation, Skubic presented him with a framed copy of the event poster. Yates and the Optimistic Ladies’ coach also received bouquets of flowers as appreciation for their performances.