US Army Corps of Engineers
U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center

Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Day Celebration encourages fellowship

Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville
Published Jan. 26, 2016
The Huntsville Center Ensemble, from left, Tina Maye, Angela Morton, Lillian Fox and Reneda Kelly sing gospel music during the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Day Celebration Jan. 22, as Elder Dwight Clark, an associate minister and minister of music at the Douglas Tabernacle Primitive Baptist Church, Huntsville, Alabama, accompanies them on the keyboard.

The Huntsville Center Ensemble, from left, Tina Maye, Angela Morton, Lillian Fox and Reneda Kelly sing gospel music during the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Day Celebration Jan. 22, as Elder Dwight Clark, an associate minister and minister of music at the Douglas Tabernacle Primitive Baptist Church, Huntsville, Alabama, accompanies them on the keyboard.

Employees attended the Jan. 22 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Celebration at the U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville, to honor King as an activist, humanitarian and leader of the Civil Rights Movement. Huntsville Center celebrated, “Weaving Diversity into the Fabric of America: We All Have a Place Beneath the Stars!,” which highlighted a multitude of cultures including European, Hispanic, Indian/Native, African and Asian Pacific American.

Employees attended the Jan. 22 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Celebration at the U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville, to honor King as an activist, humanitarian and leader of the Civil Rights Movement. Huntsville Center celebrated, “Weaving Diversity into the Fabric of America: We All Have a Place Beneath the Stars!,” which highlighted a multitude of cultures including European, Hispanic, Indian/Native, African and Asian Pacific American.

Tyler Yell, a student in Installation Support and Programs Management, serves a variety of food to U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville employees during the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Day Celebration Jan. 22.

Tyler Yell, a student in Installation Support and Programs Management, serves a variety of food to U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville employees during the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Day Celebration Jan. 22.

Benny Pitsinger, Huntsville Center Engineering Directorate, plays a song he wrote for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Day Celebration called "The Hyphenated American."

Benny Pitsinger, Huntsville Center Engineering Directorate, plays a song he wrote for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Day Celebration called "The Hyphenated American."

The promise of esprit de corps and multicultural food sampling drew employees to the Jan. 22 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Unity Celebration at the U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville.

To honor King as an activist, humanitarian and leader of the Civil Rights Movement, Huntsville Center celebrated, “Weaving Diversity into the Fabric of America: We All Have a Place Beneath the Stars!” The event highlighted a multitude of cultures including European, Hispanic, Indian/Native, African and Asian Pacific American.

“Dr. King sought to forge the common ground on which people from all walks of life could join together to address important community issues,” said Angela Morton, Huntsville Center Equal Employment chief. “He believed in a nation of freedom and justice for all, and encouraged all citizens to live up to the purpose and potential of America by uniting and taking action to make this country a better place to live.”

The ideas of unity, purpose and the great things that can happen when people work together toward a common goal are just some of the many reasons we honor Dr. King through service on this special holiday, Morton said.

Morton, who sang gospel songs as part of the Huntsville Center Ensemble, said it was phenomenal that so many people pulled together as a team to make this event a success.

Chip Marin, Installation Support and Programs Management director and keynote speaker for the event, said unity and diversity can be seen throughout American history.

“The peopling of the United States of America is one of the greatest stories in all of human history,” he said. “Over the years, and still today, a stream of humanity crossed every ocean from every continent to reach the United States. They came speaking every language, representing every nationality, race and religion.”

However, the road to diversity has not always been an easy one, Marin said.

“But, like anything else worth achieving, the road to success must be challenged head on, obstacles overcome and movement, little by little, made each and every day toward achieving the goal,” he said.

During the event, several Huntsville Center employees played music they had written, sang songs and spoke to those gathered about their cultural achievements.

Matthew Urbanic, a lead contracting officer at Huntsville Center, discussed his second-generation Yugoslavian immigrant heritage and what it means to him to be an American.

 “In 1921 when my grandfather crossed over the ocean … he was awestruck by what he saw and like most immigrants, he made a promise to be worthy of the citizenship he hoped to receive,” he said.

Because of his grandfather’s promise, Urbanic said he made the same vow.

“He wanted that his children would be worthy of their citizenship; he didn’t see it as an entitlement he saw it as something to be earned,” Urbanic said. “Every male in the Urbanic line has served their country. As part of my vow to my line, I enlisted at the age of 17.”

Throughout his life and service to his country, Urbanic said he learned that being American is something worth earning and every citizen does it each day through his or her choices. 

During the Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, Martin Luther King Jr. Day event Jan. 20, Huntsville Center won second place in the Team Redstone Martin Luther King Jr. Day display contest.