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The Marines and sailors of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit took time from a busy training schedule to observe the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Here Navy Lt. Chris Pressley recites the "I Have a Dream" speech made by King.

Photo by GySgt Robert K. Blankenship

MLK birthday observed, celebrated aboard Peleliu

27 Nov 2007 | Gunnery Sgt. Robert K. Blankenship

The Marines and sailors of the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit took time from a busy training schedule to observe the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Jan. 16.  The official theme for this year's national holiday was to Remember, Celebrate and Act.  In addition to a cake cutting ceremony there were many guest speakers including Brig. Gen. Carl B. Jensen, Expeditionary Strike Group Three commander, Marine Corps Air Bases Western Area commander, Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, San Diego, commanding general.

The MEU was in its fourth day of its Joint Task Force Exercise aboard the amphibious ship when the United States of America commemorated the life of King.

The special dedication was made in the name of the civil-rights activist who once stood on the footsteps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C., in front of thousands, and gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Forty years later his legacy still lives on and in the galley here as Navy Lt. Chris Pressley stood behind a podium and gave the exact same speech King did, verbatim from memory.

This is our chance to take time to reflect on all the achievements and sacrifices made by Dr. King for all Americans regardless of race or beliefs, said Chief Petty Officer Taylor J. Darnell, Peleliu operation specialist.

Marine Corps News

Colonel Jim W. Lively
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Colonel Lively is a native of Dallas, Texas. He received his commission in 1996 through the Platoon Leaders Course program after graduating from Texas A&M University with a BA in Psychology.

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Lieutenant Col. Le E. Nolan
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Lieutenant Colonel Nolan is a 2001 graduate of the Georgia Institute of Technology and received his commission through Officer Candidate Class 180. After completing flight training as a CH-53E pilot, he reported to HMH-361 in MCAS Miramar.

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Sergeant Major Travis L. DeBarr
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Sergeant Major DeBarr enlisted in the Marine Corps and reported to MCRD San Diego, CA, for recruit training in October 1994.

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11th Marine Expeditionary Unit