[ The Real McCoy Online Home ]                                                                                                                    January 23, 2009
Observances

King speaker participated 
in 1960s Freedom Walks

The guest speaker at the Fort McCoy Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. observance said he was inspired to support the late civil rights leader’s goals by his participation in the Freedom Marches in Chicago in 1966.

Photo: Pastor Ron Tobin of the Tomah Baptist Church speaks at Fort McCoy’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. observance. (Photo by Val Hyde)
Pastor Ron Tobin of the Tomah Baptist Church speaks at Fort McCoy’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. observance. (Photo by Val Hyde)

Pastor Ron Tobin of the Tomah Baptist Church said as many other people in his generation, he was moved by King’s "I Have a Dream" speech, and believed that real change was possible.

In Chicago when he was growing up, as in many other places, people witnessed bigotry, prejudice, oppression, etc., of another race, he said.

Today, the nation has come a long way, as evidenced by the presidential election, where a candidate of African-American heritage was elected president and many other advances that have been made. King’s dream is not complete yet, but it does need to be completed, he said.

The military has shown one way to move toward King’s dream of equality for all. Tobin said it didn’t happen by accident, but by design and hard work.

In the civilian sector, religion can help lead the way by showing that seeking redemption is one way to get out of or solve a problem, he said. "Redemption helps not just the person being redeemed, but the person who is (facilitating the steps that need to be accomplished to accomplish the redeeming) is benefitting, too," Tobin said.

The Fort McCoy Equal Opportunity program hosted the observance. Sgt. 1st Class Claudia Simpson said Tobin brought a unique, historical perspective to the audience.

"Anybody can read from a book or quote someone about what Dr. King meant to them," Simpson said. "I thought it would be better and more informative to have someone here who actually experienced that time in history."

Tobin shared his personal insights and what King’s teachings meant to him, she said.

For more information about the EO program and future events, call Simpson at (608) 388-3246.

 

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