Breaking the usual tradition of a small ceremony with a guest speaker, Fort Hamilton decided to pay homage to Martin Luther King, Jr. instead with a march meant to invoke the heart of his message and efforts.
We wanted to do something different, said Fort Hamilton spokesperson Alison Kohler. We wanted to bring back what Martin Luther King, Jr. did by having a unity march.
The event took participants across the base, from the commissary to the Exchange, then on to the Armed Forces Reserve Center and finally the Child Development Center.
To open the march, and at each stop, a guest speaker addressed the crowd. The speakers — Chaplin Viviana Hernandez, Army Specialist Joshua Platt, longtime base supporter Joseph Martinez, and Air Force Senior Master Sergeant Edwin Mondezie — all spoke about the importance of Kings message.
While the crowd of 75 people that attended may have meant the event was far smaller than other celebrations of King, Kohler believes it was a success, as she said the base has never had so many participants at its MLK Day celebration.