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Josh Stephens, left, and Patrick Magee-Williams, both 12, try to keep their candles lit during a walk on Yongsan Garrison on Sunday evening to honor the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The event drew more than 200 people to remember King, a leader of the U.S. civil rights movement.

Josh Stephens, left, and Patrick Magee-Williams, both 12, try to keep their candles lit during a walk on Yongsan Garrison on Sunday evening to honor the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The event drew more than 200 people to remember King, a leader of the U.S. civil rights movement. (Teri Weaver / S&S)

Josh Stephens, left, and Patrick Magee-Williams, both 12, try to keep their candles lit during a walk on Yongsan Garrison on Sunday evening to honor the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The event drew more than 200 people to remember King, a leader of the U.S. civil rights movement.

Josh Stephens, left, and Patrick Magee-Williams, both 12, try to keep their candles lit during a walk on Yongsan Garrison on Sunday evening to honor the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The event drew more than 200 people to remember King, a leader of the U.S. civil rights movement. (Teri Weaver / S&S)

More than 200 people marched on Yongsan Garrison from Collier Field House to Seoul American High School, where students and servicemembers remembered Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in prayer and song.

More than 200 people marched on Yongsan Garrison from Collier Field House to Seoul American High School, where students and servicemembers remembered Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in prayer and song. (Teri Weaver / S&S)

Gabby Headen, 9, prays alongside members of the Delteens, a teen group associated with Delta Sigma Theta sorority. The sorority, along with the fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha, hosted the remembrance ceremony Sunday evening for the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

Gabby Headen, 9, prays alongside members of the Delteens, a teen group associated with Delta Sigma Theta sorority. The sorority, along with the fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha, hosted the remembrance ceremony Sunday evening for the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. (Teri Weaver / S&S)

YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — More than 200 people gathered here Sunday night to march, sing and celebrate the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

“We want to keep the dream alive,” said Lt. Col. John Bradsher, who works in U.S. Forces Korea’s joint intelligence office and whose fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha, co-hosted the vigil with sorority Delta Sigma Theta.

“We have young people who need to understand who he was. It’s really for the young people,” he said.

Monday marked the national holiday for King, a leader of the U.S. civil rights movement who was assassinated in 1968. On Sunday evening, servicemembers and their families dressed in suits and Greek fraternity and sorority letters carried song sheets and candles as they walked from Collier Field House to Seoul American High School on Yongsan Garrison.

“By our march and vigil this evening, we affirm his legacy,” said Col. Ron Stephens, the Area II commander. The tributes on Yongsan surrounding the holiday were “the best I’ve seen in my military career,” he said.

King led peaceful protests in the 1950s and 1960s to fight for equal opportunity for black Americans in voting, education, jobs and society. In 1964, he was honored with the Nobel Peace Prize. He was 35.

On Sunday evening, Sheena Davis, a Seoul American High School student, gave a dramatic reading of King’s acceptance speech for the prize.

“I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits,” Davis read, quoting King. “I believe that what self-centered men have torn down, men other-centered can build up. I still believe that one day mankind will bow before the altars of God and be crowned triumphant over war and bloodshed, and nonviolent redemptive good will will proclaim the rule of the land.”

Tressa Williams, the far west regional director for Delta Sigma Theta, likened the work that servicemembers are doing in South Korea to King’s legacy of serving others.

“Freedom is rarely gained without sacrifice and denial,” she said to the crowd in the high school auditorium. “You know — and you are living — to ensure freedom in this world.”


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