Malmstrom Airmen commemorate MLK’s Legacy

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Trevor Rhynes
  • 341st Missile Wing Public Affairs

In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Malmstrom Airmen gathered at the Grizzly Bend during a remembrance event, Jan. 17, 2024.

The day's events, hosted by Malmstrom’s Diversity and Inclusion Council, not only paid tribute to Dr. King's legacy as a civil rights leader but also embraced diversity, equality and unity through engaging activities. Bishop Marcus Collins and Helena mayor Wilmot Collins were speakers at the event, and they took turns highlighting the importance of paying tribute to history and how far the path influenced by figures like Dr. King has come.

“If Dr. King were alive today, I have the utmost confidence he would be proud of how many people believe in his dream,” Mayor Collins said. “He would find that today, because of his vision, Black men and women are now more capable than ever before to reach their own dreams and visions.

“We work hard to dispel damaging stereotypes that have plagued our communities for so long, while at the same time not abandoning our culture or our heritage that makes us uniquely different as a race. From the underground tunnels to freedom led by the almighty Harriet Tubman to the Million Man March in the nation's capital, there has never been a time in our history where we sat and let our future as a race be determined by overarching authority.”

For one Malmstrom Airman, helping put the event together was a way to help honor the impact Dr. King had to the civil rights movement, and recognize how that impact is felt today.

“A lot of people think that we are here to kind of remember him and his speech, but Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was more than a speech,” said Airman 1st Class William Bosworth, 341st Security Forces Squadron remote display area operator. “He was able to change history and the way we look at life. He was able to impact our basic morals. I think he was a critical turning point in our history.”

As a result of that turning point, Bosworth says in today’s age we are able to look at people as who they are and not focus on their background.

“In 2024, things are much different from when it was when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was alive,” he continued. “Nowadays, we look at a human as a human and now you are treated the same as whoever is next to you, regardless of who you are. This creates a platform in this world where you can move up or down based on your work and not necessarily things related to where you were born, or what your ideals are. And I think that that is a huge push in the right direction because of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”

Mayor Collins concluded his speech with a reminder that movement started by Dr. King has inspired hope and has created momentum that is still felt today.

“This day is not only one where we celebrate the mountains moved by men of this day serves as a reminder of how we move forward avidly to make certain there is a seat at the table. For every person who wishes to be a part of the conversation. This day reminds me that the journey that we have chosen to embark on not only inspires our peers, but shows little black boys and girls that they are beautiful and that an American Dream looks just like them. This day reminds me that we are still not going anywhere.”