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Children from the Vilseck Elementary School in Germany recite poems inspired by Martin Luther King Jr. at a ceremony honoring the late civil rights leader, Thursday, Jan. 11, 2017.
Children from the Vilseck Elementary School in Germany recite poems inspired by Martin Luther King Jr. at a ceremony honoring the late civil rights leader, Thursday, Jan. 11, 2017. (Martin Egnash/Stars and Stripes)
Children from the Vilseck Elementary School in Germany recite poems inspired by Martin Luther King Jr. at a ceremony honoring the late civil rights leader, Thursday, Jan. 11, 2017.
Children from the Vilseck Elementary School in Germany recite poems inspired by Martin Luther King Jr. at a ceremony honoring the late civil rights leader, Thursday, Jan. 11, 2017. (Martin Egnash/Stars and Stripes)
Equal opportunity adviser Sgt. 1st Class Altissa Butler cuts a cake at a ceremony in Vilseck, Germany, marking Martin Luther King's birthday, Thursday, Jan. 11, 2017.
Equal opportunity adviser Sgt. 1st Class Altissa Butler cuts a cake at a ceremony in Vilseck, Germany, marking Martin Luther King's birthday, Thursday, Jan. 11, 2017. (Martin Egnash/Stars and Stripes)
The Martin Luther King Day cake at an event honoring the late civil rights leader's birthday, Vilseck, Germany, Thursday, Jan. 11, 2017. King, who was assassinated in 1968, would have been 89 years old this coming Monday.
The Martin Luther King Day cake at an event honoring the late civil rights leader's birthday, Vilseck, Germany, Thursday, Jan. 11, 2017. King, who was assassinated in 1968, would have been 89 years old this coming Monday. (Martin Egnash/Stars and Stripes)
Soldiers, famlies and community members applaud a reading of one of Martin Luther King's famous speech at an event at Vilseck, Germany, marking the late civil rights leader's birthday, Thursday, Jan. 11, 2017. King, who was assassinated in 1968, would have been 89 this coming Monday.
Soldiers, famlies and community members applaud a reading of one of Martin Luther King's famous speech at an event at Vilseck, Germany, marking the late civil rights leader's birthday, Thursday, Jan. 11, 2017. King, who was assassinated in 1968, would have been 89 this coming Monday. (Martin Egnash/Stars and Stripes)
Equal opportunity leader Sgt. 1st Class Rashaad Liban listens as soldiers speak about the civil rights movement at an event marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., Vilseck, Germany, Thursday, Jan. 11, 2017.
Equal opportunity leader Sgt. 1st Class Rashaad Liban listens as soldiers speak about the civil rights movement at an event marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., Vilseck, Germany, Thursday, Jan. 11, 2017. (Martin Egnash/Stars and Stripes)

VILSECK, Germany — Soldiers and schoolchildren at the U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria remembered Martin Luther King Jr. on Thursday in a ceremony marking the civil rights leader’s birthday

Monday is the 89th anniversary of King’s birth.

“We are celebrating (King’s) legacy and hard work, not just for African-Americans, but for all Americans,” said garrison equal opportunity leader Sgt. 1st Class Rashaad Liban. “It is important for soldiers to remember Martin Luther King’s message. And to think about what America has gone through, and what America is going though right now.”

At the observance, children from the Vilseck Elementary School read poems inspired by King, local leaders recited some of his famous speeches and advisers such as Liban gave lessons on the history of the civil rights movement.

Soldiers were reminded to treat it as a “day on, not a day off” and and are encouraged to volunteer in their communities.

“The idea is to be active, and help one another out and bring their people together,” Liban said.

King was assassinated in 1968 in Memphis, Tenn.

egnash.martin@stripes.comTwitter: @Marty_Stripes

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