USA: NASWI Celebrates Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

NASWI Celebrates Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

U.S. Navy Sailors, families and friends at U.S. Naval Station Whidbey Island (NASWI) celebrated Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day at the base chapel, Jan. 18. More than 60 people gathered to commemorate Dr. King’s birthday.

Cmdr. J. Michael Hakanson, NASWI’s command chaplain, thought having the celebration at the base chapel was only fitting because churches were where much of the civil rights movement started.

 “Much of the groundwork for what was done, the massing of huge groups of people, it was done in churches, done in congregations,” said Hakanson. “Nowadays, our celebrations come across as more of a church service, and that’s OK. You cannot extract that history from what made our freedom what it is today.”

 Pastor Fannie Dean, from Oak Harbor’s Mission Ministry Outreach, and the Unity Choir, made up from a number of local churches, attended the event.

 “I believe Dr. King was a religious person,” said Dean. “He gave his life saving us. Where else would we have it if not the chapel?”

According to Senior Chief Religious Program Specialist Gilbert G. Dominguez, the celebration could not have gone any better than it did.

 “I was really excited to have the turnout that we did. Pastor Dean is somewhat of a pioneer here in Oak Harbor,” said Dominguez. “She does a lot for the community and is a recognized leader here in the city.”

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s seminal “I Have a Dream” speech.

Naval Today Staff, January 23, 2013; Image: US Navy