by Gen. Robert H. “Doc” Foglesong
U.S. Air Forces in Europe commander
Americans all over the world will pause Jan. 19 to reflect upon and honor the commitment and legacy of Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The national holiday honors the steadfast efforts of this great American who relentlessly fought for the dream of human dignity and equality — regardless of a person’s race, gender, faith or skin color.
Although Dr. King’s dream of a vibrant multiracial nation united in peace and reconciliation was targeted for our country, he inspired nonviolent liberation movements around the world. On this holiday, we commemorate a man of action — a man who brought his courage. Dr. King put his life on the line for freedom and justice every day and ultimately paid the highest price to make democracy a reality for all.
The catapult for his dream was community service. His personally held belief that “everybody can be great, because everybody can serve,” still holds true, especially today. This year’s theme is “Remember! Celebrate! Act! A Day On … Not A Day Off.” I encourage you to use the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday as an opportunity to make a difference in your community. Be it interacting with your host-nation neighbors or mentoring the child of a fellow airman who’s deployed down range, make it your personal commitment to serve humanity with the great strength that empowered Dr. King’s victories.
As members of an Air Force that recognizes the strength of its diversity, we also share a common bond — as people we are all equal. Dr. King’s life exemplified our core value of “service before self,” and recalling his work through community involvement lays firmly another stone on the path toward his dream.