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US Army in Arifjan marks Martin Luther King Jr Day

By Majd Othman

KUWAIT: Under the theme of “Together, we can be the dream” the Arifjan community of the US Army celebrated Martin Luther King Jr Day on Monday in the presence of Charge d’Affaires of the US Embassy to Kuwait James Holtsnider, Command Sergeant Maj Ricardo Saunders as guest speaker and a number of high-ranking US Army personnel.

Saunders said Dr Martin Luther King Jr is best known for his central role in the American civil rights movement as a main spokesperson for non-violent activism, as he dedicated the latter half of his short life advocating for quality, social justice and opportunity for all Americans. He said observance of MLK Day provides the army not only the opportunity to celebrate Dr King’s contributions to the country, but to reflect on Americans’ strength, commitment to service the army and each other.

“It’s a privilege to be at Camp Arifjan with our US military partners, while across the US and the world we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr Day as a holiday. It is a time to reflect on important contributions of the man’s work in civil rights efforts as well as thinking about his important speeches like ‘I Have a Dream’,” Holtsnider told Kuwait Times. “United States is a country of hope, opportunity and thinking about how we can better develop into a more perfect society, as we come here to this celebration to gather, remember and honor his legacy,” he said.

KUWAIT: Chargé d’Affaires of the US Embassy James Holtsnider with US Army’’s high rankings personnel.

“One of the things that we always think as we reflect on Martin Luther King Jr’s legacy and work is that there is always more to do. We are always trying to get better, while giving everyone the opportunity to fulfil their potential,” Holtsnider added.

Regarding the Kuwait and US relationship, Holtsnider said: “We have had a long partnership with Kuwait and continue to become extremely strong, but we always find ways to strengthen our partnership through our annual strategic dialogue with the Kuwaiti Army and working on political and economic issues to improve trade and business with each other. In the cultural aspect, we are trying to increase the number of Kuwaiti students who are studying in the United States, not to mention defense cooperation.”

CSM Leon C Black III told Kuwait Times: “This day is very important because it helps us reflect on the time Martin Luther King Jr stood for America, as we are still struggling today with social equality in the matter of civil rights. Therefore, this event was held at Arifjan camp to translate his vision everywhere across the globe, despite it being a piece of American history.” Regarding King’s legacy, he said: “I would say that his work is not done yet. Every year we celebrate the same themes and messages and it’s not complete yet – we still have work to strive toward equality for everyone.”

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