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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Team Randolph celebrates spirit and dream of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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by Robert Goetz
12th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs

1/15/2010 - RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- The spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. reverberated during a commemoration service Wednesday afternoon in Randolph's Chapel 2.

The dream of the late civil rights leader continues to reverberate as well, the pastor of one of San Antonio's largest interdenominational churches told Team Randolph members who attended the event.

"Dr. King might be the only person in our lifetime, in our generation, that actually has a reverberating dream," Dr. Steve Fender of Livingway Christian Church said. "It just keeps going and getting bigger and bigger and bigger."

Dr. Fender, who presented the commemoration address in the African-American Heritage Committee-sponsored event, said most people die with their dreams.

"Almost never does someone's dreams outlive them," he said. "Dr. King was one of the few people that you will ever read about, hear about or be influenced by, that 40-some years after his death, the dream not only lives, the dream is bigger and growing every day."

The event, which followed the theme "Remember! Celebrate! Act!," also captured the spirit of Dr. King in song and dance - the performance of "The Impossible Dream" by Air Force Tops in Blue vocalist Edward Jones and an interpretative dance by the Carver Community Cultural Center's Little Carver Praise Team - and in an invocation by Team Randolph's Donald Young, Air Force Recognition Programs manager, and the lighting of unity candles representing faith and hope that paid tribute to Dr. King.

Dr. Fender, who asked attendees to follow Dr. King's dream, captured the civil rights leader's essence as a person - his use of nonviolence as a means of achieving equality for all, his commitment to "love that would not compromise and love that would not quiver," his ability to solicit millions of people to help him implement his dream and his selflessness.

Dr. King's famed speeches were never about him, he said.

"It was never about him," Dr. Fender said. "It was always about you. It was always about us."

He also said Dr. King was known more for his speeches than for his sermons.

"But he was known more for his life than his speeches," Dr. Fender said. "While other men preach the gospel and influence no one, he lived the gospel and influenced everyone."

Dr. King's footprint remains, more than 40 years after his assassination in Memphis, Tenn., at the young age of 39, he said.

"In 39 years he impacted the world," Dr. Fender said. "Many of us live to be much older than that and when we leave our footprint will scarcely be noticed. But today, 40-some years later, we stand in awe of this man's short life."

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