News | Jan. 17, 2020

He had a dream

By Connie Braesch DLA Energy Public Affairs

Fifty-seven years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave the renowned “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington. A speech many say became a slogan for equality and changed the course of the civil rights movement. 

In observance of King’s life and legacy, Defense Logistics Agency employees gathered for a two-day viewing of the documentary “King in the Wilderness” at the McNamara Headquarters Complex, Fort Belvoir, Virginia, Jan. 15 and 16.

“Monthly ethic observances at DLA are an important part of our culture and are designed to educate and raise awareness,” said Acting Director of DLA Energy Equal Employment Opportunity, Diversity & Inclusion Office Ahmad Burse. “We use many formats from guest speakers and panel discussions to educational workshops and watching a documentary like ‘King in the Wilderness’ honors the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”

The HBO award-winning documentary focuses on the last three years of King’s life. In 1964, after the March on Washington, rebellion and riots started all around the country. The nonviolent methods of protesting King urged were not being heeded.

“I must confess, that dream I had that day has on many points turned in to a nightmare,” King said in an interview during the film. 

Despite dynamic pressure, opposition and criticism, King continued to fight for civil rights while trying to keep the peace. In 1964, at the age of thirty-five, King was the youngest man to have received the Nobel Peace Prize for his nonviolent campaign for civil rights and social justice. Just four years later, killed by an assassin’s bullet, King’s personal campaign for equality ended, but his legacy and passion continued to impact the future of civil rights. 

“He may be physically dead, but his spirit will never die,” said King’s wife, Coretta Scott King, in the film.

Each year on the third Monday in January, the MLK Day of Service is observed as a federal holiday encouraging people to channel King’s life and teachings to make a positive impact on their community.  This year's theme is Serve: "I WANT YOU! REMEMBER! CELEBRATE! ACT!"