Yokota Air Base, Japan --
Members of Team Yokota came together for a Diversity Vigil hosted by the 374th Airlift Wing’s Yokota Friendship Chapel, June 27, 2020, Yokota Air Base, Japan.
The vigil consisted of an opening prayer, a poem, and a moment of silent reflection for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in solidarity and support of those who have suffered and the life lost under the banner of racial inequality.
“This is a distinct opportunity for the Yokota community to come together to support one-another and have a sense of solitude concerning all the racial inequality, tensions, and pain that we have around the world right now,” said Lt. Col. Dale E. Marlowe, 374th AW chaplain.”
To address that pain in the world, the event aimed to create an opportunity for Team Yokota to reflect on the need for societal unity and diversity, without biases or prejudice. It is that reflection that Yokota’s Chaplain Corps. used to facilitate further discussion and communication on what can be done as a community to not only cope with the state of the world, but make a positive impact in the lives’ of others.
“There’s no doubt that diversity is an important priority in the Air Force because we recognize that we need diversity to complement one-another,” said Marlowe. “Everyone has their strengths and the things they do well. With diversity, we bring a multitude of strengths, experience and wisdom from all sorts of backgrounds to the mission and that makes us stronger.”
Moving forward, the Friendship Chapel team emphasized that this moment in history is not the beginning, nor the end, but it is an important day for the Yokota community to unite on this journey to true equality.
“I hope that Team Yokota gets a sense that we’re all in this together,” said Marlowe. “By having an opportunity to express that here today, we can get together with one another and show that Yokota cares and that is a powerful thing.”