Virtually—February 27, 2021 The National Montford Point Marine Association, Inc. NC Triad-Triangle Chapter 38 & Martin Luther King, Jr. Commission of Durham presents “All Service Has Purpose “ Essay Contest. It was well represented by different veteran nonprofit organizations along with several highlighted events such as the guest speaker Lieutenant General Walter Gaskin USMC (Ret) Secretary, NC Department of Military and Veterans Affairs, special appearance from The Honorable Theodore Britton Jr. who is a Montford Point Marine and also served as a Ambassador to Barbados and Grenada . Mr. Adam Watkins of East Chapel Hill School did a wonderful rendition of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speech, 14 year old singing sensation Keedron Bryant of Florida, who became popular singing the song “I just wanna live”.
Adio Oluwafunmilayo, 11th grade, City of Medicine Academy of Durham, NC was the first place winner and the winner of $300.00. All the contestants will receive $30 Walmart gift cards. This is her essay: All Service has Purpose
1). What do you think he meant by that?
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. lived out his days helping others in various ways. When he wasn’t helping his congregation he would assist the nation. Regardless of his significant achievements, Dr. King still valued the services of everyday people. Dr. King was rarely seen without other people by his side and together, they changed the lives of African Americans and other marginalized groups in the United States. The thing is, Dr. King never decided who he would work with based on positions of power; he socialized with people from all walks of life. Dr. King used his life as an example for all mankind, and by examining his life, we can truly see what he meant when he said “All service has purpose”. All people, great and small, make important contributions to society when they help others. Because of this, we should all be eager to lend a hand wherever we can.
2). How could that be related to your life?
Rather than just tell you this, allow me to share a story with you:
I met Morgan when I was 7. My mom was Morgan’s caregiver and she brought her to our home unannounced. Morgan was the first disabled person I saw face to face, so my first instinct was to run. Morgan’s reaction was nicer than mine. She smiled and laughed at me and after some convincing from my mom, I inched towards her. Morgan wasn’t as scary as I thought. She touched me gently while maintaining her smile, and I felt a connection right away. Morgan started hanging out with me and my family every day soon after.
Morgan had down syndrome and other health issues from an accident. She needed help eating most days and she wanted to be comforted others. I started mimicking my mom as she assisted her. Caring for Morgan never felt like a chore. I loved Morgan, and even though she wasn’t able to talk, I know she loved me too.
Morgan needed surgeries from time to time so that she could live as independent a life as possible. I had a routine for whenever Morgan would have a surgery. I would pray and wait for her to come back from the hospital and when she came back we would take things slow until she regained her strength. One day Morgan got hurt after a recent surgery. I prayed and waited for her to come back, but I never saw her again. My mom wasn’t the first person to tell me when Morgan died. Her family published her obituary in a local newspaper and I happened to get my hands on it. I lost a piece of myself that day.
I’ve been missing Morgan for a long time, but I made peace with her death by maintaining what brought us together. The years I spent assisting Morgan were amazing and I gained so much from our relationship. Serving her made me feel whole, it gave me a purpose. Morgan’s life, along with Dr. King’s, taught me that it doesn’t matter how big or small your impact is, the things we do in life for others are always important. One day, I hope I’ll see Morgan again and meet Dr. King so I can tell them about the lives I impacted. As for now, I’ll continue to follow in Dr. King’s footsteps and change the world every chance I get.