Fort Rucker - "I have a dream."
Immortal words from the civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Fort Rucker leaders say his dream is a reality at the Army post.
"This right here at Fort Rucker is Martin Luther King's vision. No matter who you are or what your background is, everybody is equal. Everybody has the same opportunities as everyone else," said COL Stuart J. McRae, Fort Rucker Garrison Commander.
Thursday, people gathered in the Fort Rucker theater for "Peace! Passion! Purpose!," a program to commemorate Dr. King's passion for service.
"Find your purpose. A way to serve. Live with passion so at the end of your life you can be like Dr. King who spoke of his happiness and no fear in his last speech, he had his inner peace," said the guest speaker, Dothan Mayor Mike Schmitz.
Schmitz said this inner peace is achievable. Young or old, everybody can be great because everybody can serve.
"Like he said, 'If you're not serving others, you are wasting your life.' You get so much more out of helping others than you do helping yourself. It's a blessing for you as well as for other people. It's something our community does, and I'm blessed to be part of it," said Schmitz.
"It was wonderful, and it emphasized one of the points I believe Dr. King strived toward and that was service to all mankind. Dr. King worked for equality toward everyone, and for me I believe I have the opportunities that I have because of his service for all," said Oretha Harper, Ozark.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was first observed on January 20, 1986. The holiday is held every 3rd Monday in January.