January 13, 2017 --
Singing, clapping and the sounds of celebration rang out across Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, Jan. 11.
The Chapel of the Good Shepherd, aboard MCLB Albany, was filled with active-duty service members, civilian personnel and community guests who came to the installation’s 2017 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. observance to “Remember! Celebrate! Act!”
Debra Capers, parliamentarian, for the Albany Area Chapter of Blacks in Government, presided over the event, which is an annual collaborated effort between Marine Corps Logistics Command, the Albany Area Chapter of BIG and MCLB Albany.
Col. James C. Carroll III, commanding officer, MCLB Albany, welcomed attendees to the event and spoke of King’s visits and efforts in Albany.
“As we continue moving forward in the ideals of Dr. Martin Luther King for a brighter tomorrow, living growing and succeeding together, even here in Albany and Southwest Georgia, (Dr. King’s) efforts ring loudly here,” Carroll said. “Some of those with us today were here when he came to Albany, in the (Civil Rights) Movement, embracing his vision of togetherness in the capacities in which we currently serve.
“We need to continue to embrace that vision even today as we follow and continue in progressing and moving forward,” he added. “As you can tell so far, this is an absolute celebration; this is not a somber event. So, I invite you to participate, to join in with those who put this program on today. Again, we are all winners; let’s continue to 'Win until the end.’ Thank you and Semper Fidelis.”
Americus, Georgia native, Pastor Darnell Lundy, keynote speaker for the event, discussed the importance the national holiday and reflected on the impact of the commemoration on his life before a capacity crowd.
“This day is very special to me, being an African American in this time and season,” Lundy said. “Looking back over the past at where we’ve come from and what has gotten us to this point--the struggles, the trials and tribulations we’ve been through, dating back to the Civil Rights Movement; looking at the people (who) struggled to give me the opportunity to do what I do now; affording me the opportunity to go out and help other young people of all races and colors, not just Blacks; to let them know, if I can do it, they can do it.
“(Just to) have them to remember that we have a lineage of great people who suffered, bled and died and were scrutinized and scandalized just to get us to where we are now,” he emphasized. “It is important to remember that we didn’t just get here on a bed of ease; we struggled to get here.
“Those people died with a hope and a passion,” the speaker continued. “They died believing that we would take on the torch. They passed the baton to us hoping that we would not use it in vain and that we would honor it and take it to the next level and be successful.
“They had 'a dream’,” Lundy continued. “They died believing that we would carry on the dream. I am a product of what they died for and I’m proud to be here and I’m proud to be a Black successful man in America.
“I stand on the shoulders of greatness,” he reflected. “Those people are (the ones) who I tip my hat to. Strength is never on the top; strength is always at the bottom, because it’s what’s at the bottom that’s holding you up.
"So, we never forget those people; they cause us to be here where we are now,” Lundy concluded. “I didn’t get here by myself. (This day) means everything to me; every success and every accolade, I owe it to them.”
Throughout the celebration, other program participants reminded attendees to reflect on the theme and its call to action; to “serve” in some way, the communities in which we live.
To view more photos from the MLK Day observance, visit MCLB Albany’s Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Marine-Corps-Logistics-Base-Albany/512695405469372.