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Secretary of Defense Message

Martin Luther King Day Message

Jan. 15, 2016
As written by Secretary of Defense Secretary of Defense Ash Carter

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a man of deep and abiding faith, compassion, and dedication.  He reminded us all that “human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability,” and that “the time is always ripe to do right.”  He challenged us all to live up to the ideals enshrined in our founding documents – that we are all created equal, endowed with unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

At the Department of Defense, we are committed to honoring Dr. King’s legacy.  That means recognizing the human dignity in all of the people we serve.  It means protecting the right to vote for all of our service members.  It means ensuring that those who serve are judged not based on who they are or where they come from, but rather what they have to offer to help defend this country.

As we remember Dr. King on his birthday, let’s recommit ourselves to the standard he set, the legacy that lives on, and the challenge that remains.