“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”
– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Letter from Birmingham Jail”
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day will be observed on Monday, January 18th, 2021, the third Monday every January.
One of the greatest American civil rights leaders of the 20th century, Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on January 15, 1929. It’s a date honored nationwide on the third Monday in January. He was one of the most important figures in American civil rights history. The celebration of Dr. King’s birthday has been sadly marked by some of the discrimination he fought so hard against. King’s birthday was not officially honored in all 50 states until the year 2000. Prior to that, some states combined his birthday in ways that would be quite controversial and unacceptable today.
Alabama, Arkansas, and Virginia had combined King’s birthday observance with that of Confederate general Robert E. Lee. Fortunately, times change, however slowly.
How does the United States military observe Martin Luther King’s Birthday? A quick look at the United States Army official site shows that today’s Department of Defense and all four branches of military service are dedicated to a set of values that include the vision of Dr. King.
The Army official site includes a “Stand-To” blog entry commemorating King’s birthday, which includes the following statement:
“The Army is aligned with the Department of Defense to ensure that everyone who is able and willing to serve has the full and equal opportunity to do so and will be treated with dignity and respect. America’s Army remains mission ready by leveraging a diverse, all-volunteer force.”