Facebook
@21stSpaceWing 
Twitter
@PeteAFB
Instagram
PeteAFB_21SW
Youtube
PeteAFB
Flickr
21SWPAA

Peterson AFB hosts MLK remembrance

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Idris Goodwin, award-winning writer, director and Colorado College professor, re-enacts Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech, “I Have a Dream,” for attendees at the MLK Commemoration Service hosted by the 21st Space Wing, Jan. 12. The service was held at the Peterson Air Force Base Chapel. (U.S. Air Force photo by Audrey Jensen)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. – Maj. Paul Prosper, United States Air Force Academy department of management, assistant professor, gave a presentation to attendees at the Peterson Air Force Base Chapel, Jan. 12. Prosper said it is important to talk about racial issues that are still prevalent today. (U.S. Air Force photo by Audrey Jensen)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Maj. Paul Prosper, United States Air Force Academy department of management, assistant professor, repeated the first part of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s quote: “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies,” as attendees of the MLK Commemoration Service at the Peterson Air Force Base Chapel finished the phrase with, “But the silence of our friends.” The service was hosted by the 21st Space Wing, Jan. 12. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Audrey Jensen)

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- On Friday, Jan. 12, the Peterson Air Force Base Chapel echoed with words from one of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous quotes: “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

These were recited by attendees of the MLK Commemoration Service (presented by the 21st Space Wing), and by the ceremony speaker, Maj. Paul Prosper, United States Air Force Academy department of management, assistant professor, who brought this quote to light several times throughout his presentation.

Prosper, and Idris Goodwin, award-winning writer, director and Colorado College professor who recited an abridged version of MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech at the service, were introduced by Col. Eric Dorminey, 21st Space Wing vice commander.

Being silent in the face of hate, or being “color blind,” is what enables racism and is still prevalent today, said Prosper.

“To be silent means you’re lacking integrity when you know people are getting hurt — that’s wrong,” Prosper said as he paced in front of the church pews. “We can’t be silent, we can’t be color blind.”

Not talking about issues of racism in our country, or pretending that race doesn’t exist, is being ignorant, Prosper added.

After serving in the trenches of World War I and World War II, black veterans were greeted with angry mobs, riots and acts of hate instead of being thanked for their service.

This was common, Prosper said, and no arrests were made to those who committed a crime.
Prosper cited King’s quote multiple times because “Right now, I noticed this quote is timeless,” he said.

Being ignorant about problems in our country is bad, Prosper said, but not talking about it is worse; we can improve by speaking up and talking to each other.

“Allies don’t just have to be people who are being oppressed,” he said. “We’ve got young coworkers and Airmen … talk to them about these issues. This is not taboo. Let them know you’ll talk to them, even if you can’t relate.”