Record number attend Martin Luther King Jr. march

ERIE, Pa. -- Monday was a special day set aside to remember the late Martin Luther King Jr., and a record number of people gathered in downtown Erie to remember his legacy.

At least 500 people filled the streets downtown to honor and remember King. Many people said the turnout was double from previous years.
   
For 20 years, the Martin Luther King Jr. Center has hosted a march to honor and celebrate Dr. King on his birthday. The march began at Perry Square and ended at the MLK Center on Chestnut Street.

This year at least 500 people of all races and backgrounds filled the streets of downtown Erie spreading the message of peace and hope to all. Some even giving the gift of love through cinnamon buns to everyone who came.

King was a leader in the African-American civil rights movement. He was a community activist who called for action against inequality and violence. King was shot and killed in Memphis, Tennessee, 49 years ago.

Some marchers said at a time when they are anxious about the upcoming presidency it is important to remember the values and beliefs King preached.
   
"I think it holds more value than ever before with the trying times that we are going through and what our community is going through with a new president coming in,” MLK Center executive director James Sherrod said. “I think we need to get together and think about what Dr. King's dream was all about so all is not lost.”

At the end of the march, the MLK Center hosted a memorial service where hundreds of people filled the parking lot to listen to African-American leaders discuss the legacy of King and what needs to be done to continue his legacy into the future. Everyone who attended the march was also welcomed inside for a soup and sandwich lunch along with entertainment by the Erie Dance Theatre.

Guest speaker, pastor Charles Mock, spoke about the importance of keeping the dream alive.
   
"Celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King and all of those who worked with him, marched with him, served with him, so that the dream can become a reality,” Mock said. 


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