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Arsenal Celebrates MLK Day

First Army Public Affairs

The Rock Island Arsenal took a moment on Thursday, January 24th to remember the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 

First Army hosted the event and civilians and soldiers alike showed up to hear Sergeant Major Dwayne Cook, First Army's acting Command Sergeant Major, speak about the importance of King's contributions.

Cook says King influenced the military's approach to the Vietnam war and that influence continues today.

"For twenty-nine years I watched the Army grow into a better reflection of that dream that Dr. King talked about," said Cook. "When I think about our modern army's embrace of diversity, I can't help but reflect on our last [First Army] Commanding General. He was a black man who's own grandfathers had both served with the First Army during World War II in segregated units. Just think of the scale of that change in two generation's time."

He also spoke about the importance of diversity in the military and the effects the civil rights movement had on his childhood in Detroit, where he was born just a year after the assasination of Dr. King.

The Arsenal's next observance will be on February 28th, to celebrate Black History Month.

I'm currently a Senior at Augustana College, working on majors in Multimedia Journalism and Mass Communication and Communication Studies. In addition to interning at the station, I also work for the Augustana Observer, the college's official student newspaper, as a writer for the Arts and Entertainment section.