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Minnesota National Guard
Minnesota National Guard Celebrates Dr. Martin Luther
King Jr. Day

Minnesota National Guard leaders assembled and celebrated the life of Dr Martin Luther King Jr Jan 15, 2007 in the Minneapolis Convention Center

Maj. Gen. Larry Shellito, adjutant general of Minnesota, as well as several senior Minnesota National Guard officers attended the Dr Martin Luther King Jr Holiday Breakfast where they celebrated Dr King's life and also took in ideas about how to advance Dr King's dream

The breakfast recognized key leaders in the metro area, as well as greater Minnesota who have done significant work over the last year to advance the dream of Dr King

The keynote speaker, Roslyn M Brock, vice chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People gave an impassioned speech that was a call to action for all of the leaders assembled in the Convention Center to continue the dream of Dr King "During this time of the year, we hear the song "˜We shall overcome' a lot," said Brock "Deep in our hearts, do we really believe that we shall overcome?"

Minnesota National Guard leaders also highlighted the significance of the song, in both its historical value with the movement Dr King led in the south, as well as its outlook for the future

"The work that's left to do, I think is best reflected in the song "˜We shall overcome,'"said Lt. Col. Mark Bell, Joint Force Headquarters deputy training officer, and one of two African America Lt. Col.s in the Minnesota Army National Guard "What we need to understand in 2007 is that the "˜We' in "˜We shall over come'-if we listen to the speeches of Dr Martin Luther King, does not speak specifically about African Americans, it speaks about the united country "˜We' is all of us"

Though the bulk of the military presence was at the breakfast, several other events throughout the day drew military support

"This is one of my big days when I am everywhere," said Lt Col Trancey Williams, Equal Opportunity officer for Minnesota "Especially with my position, it's so important that I am supporting as many of these events as I possibly can"

Lt. Col. Williams supported celebration events throughout the day and into the evening with the final celebration at the Basilica in Minneapolis

Though Dr King's holiday comes and goes, the leaders of the Minnesota National Guard, regardless of race, are committed to advancing the dream

By Cpl Joe Roos, Joint Force Headquarters Public Affairs
View the Martin Luther King Jr. Day photo gallery

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