Post officials gathered to pay tribute to the cultural contributions of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during a commemorative observance Wednesday, Jan 15 at Wings Chapel on Fort Rucker. The theme of the program was “The History of a King.”

The program was designed for the viewer to see several short original tributes through the eyes of students in a university class. The students separated into groups and each set used a different style of presentation.

 “People are not very knowledgeable of who Dr. King was and what he did for Civil Rights and humanity. So, we need to take every opportunity to make these individuals aware, aware of the man that paid the ultimate sacrifice. He took on the daunting task of making the individuals in America aware of the inequalities that were present,” Randy McNally, Education Service Officer, Fort Rucker Education Center said.

Mrs. Moore reminded the class to “continue to regard the upcoming holiday as a day ‘on’ not a day ‘off’, remember the struggle, celebrate the initiatives and act accordingly to keep the dream alive.”

After a brief recap of some of King’s accomplishments the students broke into groups to create a short, original tribute to the life of King.

The first presentation focused on the spoken word. Several different speakers quoted King and expounded on the meaning and impact of King’s words and actions.

The speakers encouraged the listeners to come together as one and remember that all life matters.

The second presentation was a praise dance to the song “War Cry.”

“Praise dancing is a means of using the body to express the word or Spirit of God rather than an expression of art or entertainment,” Col. Jimmie J. Tolvert, commander, Lyster Army Health Clinic said. “The song “War Cry” was picked to depict the struggle we face by striving for equality across the human race.”

The dancer performed an interpretive dance while the words to the song were displayed on the screens behind her.

The third presentation was an abstract painting of King. A group of students participated in an interactive painting experience where colors from their clothes were “thrown” at the screen to make a painting.

“Though the concept seems straight forward, you are challenged to see multiple layers are required to understand and see the whole picture.” Tolvert said.

The fourth presentation was a rendition of “Glory.” The song is from the motion picture “Selma.” During the song, scenes from the movie were displayed on the projector screen.  The movie depicted a chronical of King’s campaign to secure equal voting rights by a march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965.

The fifth presentation was of a drill sergeant and cadence. “That was a lighthearted perspective which reflects the impact of King’s intent on the current generation and the strides our young adults must take to insure constant improvement for the future,” Tolvert said.

The final presentation involved several members of the cleaning crew reading letters to King.

“The cleaning crew was used throughout the performance to support and facilitate the mundane necessities. Often we overlook people and it is important to see them for who they are, not solely based upon the position they hold,” Tolvert said.

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