News: Let Us Make It Right, Remembering Dr. King’s Legacy
Marine Corps Base Quantico
(Excerpt from) Story by Ida Irby

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Cmdr. Robert J. Etheridge, Deputy Command Chaplain, Anthony Forbes, Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Specialist for Headquarters Marine Corps (HQMC), Penny Thomison, EEO specialist, Paula Bedford, EEO deputy officer, Pastor Deborah Dukes, Guest Speaker Bishop Lyle Dukes, Pastor of Harvest Life Changers Church, William Whaley, Human Resources and Organizational Management HQMC, Glovinia Harris, EEO specialist, Tina Sansone, EEO specialist, Master Sgt. Mechelle Sharp, Equal Opportunity Adviser for National Capital Region MCBQ, and Col. Joseph Murray, Base Commander, attend the birthday observance for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Jan. 14 at Marine Memorial Chapel aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico.

QUANTICO, Va. – “Turn to your neighbor and say, ‘Let’s make it right,’ because the greatest thing you can do in life is be part of change … We each have a responsibility to make a difference,” said guest speaker Bishop Lyle Dukes, pastor of Harvest Life Changers Church, during the commemorative celebration of the 32nd anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s official birthday observance held Jan. 14 at Marine Memorial Chapel aboard Marine Corps Base Quantico.

The ceremony began at 10 a.m. with a patriotic arrangement performed by the Marine Corps Ceremonial Band followed by the Quantico Ceremonial platoon’s presentation of colors. Commander Robert J. Etheridge, deputy command chaplain set the scene with an invocation, reminding the audience that Dr. King was motivated to take the truth of God’s word that all men are created in the image of God and therefore equal.

Col. Joseph Murray spoke briefly before introducing the guest of honor. According to Murray, much like King, “Dukes has a desire to see people restored and living abundantly through the matchless power of God.”

Dukes addressed a crowd of more than 200 civilians and Marines…and spoke of the individual responsibilities to make the country better. The former U.S. Army captain continues to serve his community and his country through his mission to teach, train, develop and empower people to live better, love better and serve better.

Beyond the pulpit, Dukes serves as a consultant to secular organizations on an international scale. For that he is well respected in the business and political circles. His ministry extends to a pastoral network of approximately 500 churches in the U.S. and funds resources for villages in Eastern Africa.

“We should remember those who sacrificed their lives, celebrate people who came before us, and act. We should act because actions speak louder than words,” said Dukes. “We all have a piece of greatness inside of us, which can contribute to making this country great.”

“I believe that as we understand our call, God will help us to mobilize so that we are in a position to effect change,” said Dukes. “Dr. King’s message was to change the attitudes and mentality of people of our nation…where people are judged by their character and not their culture.”

Master Sgt. Mechelle Sharp, equal opportunity advisor for the National Capital Region MCBQ echoed his thoughts saying, “In the Marine Corps we judge each other based on our capabilities, much like Martin Luther King teaches to not judge others based on the color of their skin, but the content of their character.”

“As I look at the present, I see the beauty of a dream that’s in full bloom through the diversity of the Marine Corps family,” said Murray.

Dukes shared personal stories with the audience and closed just as he began saying, “Circumstances can make us bitter, or make us better. Tell somebody, ‘Let us make it right’.” Speaking to their neighbors, the audience chanted in unison, “Let’s make it right.”

Eldridge went on to say that the words shared at the observance encouraged him, and reminded him that we should look at the men “God created us to be and not what others perceive. Take that greatness and share it.”