Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. honored at chapel

Capt. Boswyck Offord, commander of NSA/CSS Hawaii, speaks at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day observance at Pearl Harbor Memorial Chapel, Jan. 17.

Story and photos by Don Robbins

Ho‘okele Editor

Sailors, Airmen and civilians attended a special observance celebration in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day at Pearl Harbor Memorial Chapel, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH), Jan. 17.

The ceremony was organized by the Joint Base Diversity Committee and led by master of ceremonies Cryptologic Technician (Collection) 2nd Class Nkosi Gaddy.

The observance focused on the theme, “Remember! Celebrate! Act! A Day On, Not a Day Off!,” to emphasize King’s role in civil rights and American history.

Jarrard Galbreath, chief of organization and resources for Pacific Air Forces, addresses the audience at the observance.


Featured guest speakers at the observance included Navy Capt. Boswyck Of-ford, commander of NSA/ CSS Hawaii, and Jarrard Galbreath, chief of organization and resources for Pacific Air Forces.

Offord provided a personal vantage point, explaining that he was born in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963 at the heart of the civil rights movement during some of the most tumultuous periods of that city. Although his family later relocated out of the area due to the civil unrest, Offord said he remembers the tense moments of the era whenever he visited relatives as a youth.

Offord said that in the face of racism and even death, Martin Luther King Jr. chose to rise above.

“His guidance and example helped to elevate the nation to be better and witness that we are better together,” he said.

Offord urged everyone to spend his or her time wisely in honoring King’s legacy.

“Spend it serving others and working together to make the world a better place,” Offord said.

Galbreath said that King dedicated his life to the ideals of service and giving to others.

Lt. Col. Sonya Ferreira, deputy chief staff officer for Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, delivers opening remarks.


“The reason, 50 years later, that we are standing here honoring Dr. Martin Luther King is because he was truly a servant,” Galbreath said.

Galbreath urged others to use their unique gifts and talents in this world for good purposes.

“We can’t divorce ourselves from the needs that we come across,” he said.

Lt. Col. Sonya Ferreira, deputy chief staff officer for Joint Base, delivered opening remarks at the observance.

Ferreira said that King had a fight in him, but it was not a violent fight.

“He fought with his intellect, and charisma, and courage, and even love. These were his weapons of choice and they were not the natural weapons to use at that time. But they were very effective,” Ferreira said.

“Dr. King’s words shook the foundation of our moral conscience as a nation,” Ferreira said.

She said that Dr. King’s example taught her some valuable lessons.

“Our past experiences shape who we are but never define who we can be, not as a person, as a people or a nation. We have limitless dreams and potential inside us,” Ferreira said.

During the observance, Cryptologic Technician (Collection) 3rd Class Geanaly Jones read from then-President Ronald Reagan’s remarks as he established the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday.

The day’s events also included a cake-cutting and special meal in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day at the Silver Dolphin Bistro.

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Category: News