January 13, 2016 --
Sounds of music, singing, applause and orators’ voices could be heard by anyone in and around the vicinity of Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany’s Chapel of the Good Shepherd, during the installation’s annual 2016 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. commemorative observance, Wed., Jan. 13.
Col. James C. Carroll III, commanding officer, MCLB Albany, acknowledged distinguished guests, greeted and welcomed fellow service members and other attendees to the event.
“Thanks for coming out to this special observance ceremony for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” Carroll said. “This event, hosted annually by the (Albany) Area Chapter of Blacks in Government, gives each of us a chance to reflect upon the contributions of those from the past and continue moving forward with the ideas of equality and togetherness and to look to the future for a brighter tomorrow of living and growing, succeeding and prospering together here in Albany as well as Southwest Georgia.”
After reflecting on many of the attributes of the honored civil rights leader and the impact of his presence in the Albany-Dougherty County community, the colonel cited his own philosophy, “Let us continue to win until the end.”
“We know that’s what Dr. King did all the way to the end,” Carroll added. “I truly believe that we are all winners, in our own right, and your presence here today speaks to that very essence. So, Marine Corps Logistics Base (Albany), all of Southwest Georgia, Albany-Dougherty County and surrounding counties, join with us and continue to win and do our part as we reflect upon the legacy of Dr. King.
“You are so very welcome here today,” the colonel concluded. “I look forward to an outstanding program and am glad that you are visiting aboard the base. Semper Fidelis and God bless each one of you.”
Georgia native and keynote speaker, Lt. Col. George Lampkin, deputy director, C4, Marine Corps Logistics Command, opened his speech to personnel and guests in attendance with a two-word topic/question, “Why not?”
“As I thought about the occasion, the words that came to mind were, ‘why not?’,” the speaker asked himself. “Why are we here? (Because of) Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., his legacy and observing the things he has accomplished. What can I, who was six months old when he was taken from us, say to you about him?
“Those of you who are mathematicians, let me go ahead and help you out, that’s 48 years old,” Lampkin said as the crowd erupted into laughter. “You already know the theme; ‘Remember! Celebrate! Act!’ Why not me, who speaks about Dr. King? For that matter, why not anybody in this gathering?
“Anyone of us, given our perspectives, our background and our upbringing, we know of the Civil Rights Movement,” he continued. “We know of its importance, its criticality to our nation. We also know Dr. King’s role in it; we know what he sacrificed; we know his struggles; we know the things that he did himself and his followers. So, anyone of us should be able to speak, a few words at least. I mean, why not? So, why should we remember? I think a better question is, why not?
“Again, knowing the importance of the Civil Rights Movement,” Lampkin reflected. “Understanding the change in social climate that took -- that is taking place; knowing the sacrifices and the struggles, why not remember such an occasion? Then, why not remember a champion such as Dr. King?
“Why not remember the fact that so many people, not just people of color, were touched by his efforts,” he continued. “So many people were touched by the results, the positivity of that movement across our nation—across the world for that matter.”
Throughout his speech, Lampkin challenged the audience to not only remember, but also to celebrate; he further highlighted points to illustrate the relevance and importance to act.
Brenda Shy, director, Wholesale ICP Planning Division, Weapons Systems Management Center, presided over the program. Musical selections were rendered by Steven Spraggins, the MCLB Albany Choir, and Latreesa Perryman and Jackie Johnson.
Other participants for the observance included: Debra Capers, Albany Chapter of BIG member, who delivered the occasion; Esheka Hopper, who performed an interpretive dance; Hal Gobin, director, C4, LOGCOM, who introduced the speaker; Ira Thompson, Inspector General, LOGCOM and president, Albany Chapter of BIG, presented Lampkin with an award and gave closing remarks. The Reverend Kurt Bland and the Reverend W. H. Leggett delivered the invocation and benediction, respectively.
To view additional photos from the event, visit MCLB Albany’s Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Marine-Corps-Logistics-Base-Albany/512695405469372