A rendition of Dr. Martin Luther King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech was the highlight of this year’s Black History Month Observance held at the Frontier Club Feb. 25.
Sgt. Maj. Donald W. Troxler, Jr., an instructor at the Sergeant Majors Academy at Fort Bliss, performed the rendition of the famous speech. Troxler is also an Associate Professor for Excelsior College, and a Criminal Justice professor for Vista College. Troxler’s speech followed a tribute video which showed African American leaders who paved the way for change.
“We refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt…Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to lift our nation of the quick sands of racial injustice,” Troxler said during his rendition of the speech. “It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of this matter. Let us not seek to satisfy ourselves from the thirst of freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of unspeakable horrors of police brutality.”
Gunners Mate Brandon N. Stempley was the master of ceremonies for the event and Spc. Troy Blanton sang the national anthem. The proclamation was read by Gunners Mate David Osborn. The invocation was provided by Chaplain Bradley West. White Sands Test Center Commander Col. James Winbush provided the closing remarks during the ceremony.
“Thank you. I really appreciate you coming up here and delivering this speech,” Winbush said. “Quite frankly it took me back to my childhood.”
Prior to closing the ceremony, Winbush and Installation Command Sergeant Major, Sgt.Maj. Jimmy Sellers presented plaques to the Service members who took part in the ceremony. Troxler was given a special presentation as a ‘thank you’ for sharing his rendition of the speech.
“This was one of the most authentic speeches, with the emphasis and inflection in the right places,” Winbush said. “I appreciate you getting into character and delivering something that was authentic and real.”
During his closing remarks, Winbush talked about the important role the Army has played in desegregation both through their actions and through their message they portrayed while working together as a unit.
“In many ways the military has been on the forefront leading the way to what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was talking about,” Winbush said.
“If you’re divided you can be conquered, you must be united as one team,” Winbush added.
After the ceremony guests were invited to view posters that were distributed throughout the room. The posters provided a brief biography of African Americans who made a significant contribution to change.