Installation remembers Dr. King



by Donovan Jackson
Air University Public Affairs


2/1/2013 - MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. - -- In honor and celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, the base held a memorial observance Jan. 23 at the Senior NCO Academy.

The event paid homage to King through poem, song and video.

The keynote speaker for the event was the Rev. Fer-Rel Malone Sr., a graduate of Troy University and pastor in Waycross, Ga.

During his undergraduate years at Troy University, Malone was president of the university's African American Society. While serving as the president, Malone was personally mentored by Dr. E. D. Nixon.

Nixon helped organize the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955 and formed the Montgomery Improvement Association. The MIA elected Martin Luther King Jr. as its first president and Nixon as its treasurer.

"Dr. Nixon was profound in knowledge and I wanted to learn as much as I could from him," said Malone. "I used to drive my old Subaru all the way to Montgomery from Troy just to learn from him and be around him."

During his speech, Malone emphasized that celebrators of King's birthday should not just remember him for what he accomplished, but should put their focus more on uplifting one another for the better of the country.

"One very important thing we must work on is maintaining security, stability and building our country and community and reinvesting in ourselves," he said.

At the end of the observance Col. Trent Edwards, 42nd Air Base Wing commander, awarded Malone with the wing commander's coin.

"This was a powerful event," said Ch. (Capt.) Dale Marlowe, who gave the invocation. "Dr. King's dream will always live through the Airmen."