At Fork Union Military Academy, we develop, educate, and inspire our cadets in mind, body, and spirit. In any given year we may have young men from 38 states and 20 countries. They'll all be dressed the same, treated the same, held to the same standards. Marching as one, saluting the flag, studying in class, earning their best grades. Competing in sports, scoring their points for the team, earning their personal bests. Hearing God's Word, worshipping in chapel and thanking God for their blessings. Living their lives with respect, integrity, faith, discipline, and character.
Our mission is very much as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. described the proper function of education, when he said, "Intelligence plus character—that is the goal of true education.
We are remembering the life and words of Dr. King today on his birthday, and tomorrow, on the national holiday named in his honor.
In perhaps the most familiar words from his most familiar speech, Dr. King stated, "I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."
This is the kind of brotherhood we want to see our cadets develop here on our campus. We are doing our best to live Dr. King's dream here in Fork Union each day, just as we pray that his dream will be reality in all the spaces and places across our nation today.
But our best efforts are still imperfect, because each one of us sins and falls short of God's glory.
On this Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, I challenge you to remember that Dr. King was not a politician, but he was first and foremost a pastor, a minister of God's Gospel message:
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
—John 3:16 (NIV)
Reach beyond his famous speeches and quotations and search out some of his sermons to listen to—there are many available online on YouTube and elsewhere. For we will not truly be able to realize Dr. King's dream completely until we have first restored our relationship with God. It is only through the power of God's love in our lives, that we can share that love with others.
Then we will be truly living the dream.
Colonel David L. Coggins, USMC (Ret.)
Fork Union Military Academy