USS Harpers Ferry
"First In Freedom"
USS Harpers Ferry honors Dr. Martin Luther King
Story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Mark El-Rayes, Boxer Amphibious Ready Group Public Affairs
ARABIAN GULF – USS Harpers Ferry’s Multinational Heritage Committee held a commemoration ceremony in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King aboard the amphibious dock landing ship, Jan. 20.
During the ceremony, Sailors and Marines spoke about the influence of Dr. King, acted out a play, sang songs, and recited poems about the progress Americans have made towards peace and equality.
“I wanted an impactful poem,” said Ensign Travon Adderly, who recited a poem at the ceremony. “As I began to read it, it became more impactful and meaningful to the situation. “People took it many different ways because we’re all different, but in all actuality we’re all pretty much the same.”
Sailors and Marines gave a brief overview of Dr. King’s life and the lessons he fought for.
“To see other people passionately acknowledging what he did was inspiring,” said Seaman Crystina Duvall. “This ceremony really opened people’s eyes to how it was [during Dr. King’s lifetime] and how it shouldn’t be.”
The Harpers Ferry Multicultural Heritage Committee organized the event which also included a play.
Gunnery Sgt. Nonya Brown acted as a teacher during the performance, in which students asked questions about Dr. King and what he did.
“It was a very fun experience,” said Brown. “It was a good chance to get to know Sailors. It was a good chance to see how people felt about the issue.”
Adderly said the ceremony gave insight to Dr. King’s ideals on social issues and how servicemembers can use King’s lessons in their lives.
“He paved the way for not only African Americans, but people as a whole. He was going against many things and many causes,” added Adderly. “It’s important for Sailors to remember what he has done and the people that helped him get to where he was. They should use that as fuel to help them get to where they want to be.”
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