Erie is remembering and acknowledging the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King.

Decades after his 1963 famous “I Have a Dream” speech, his message continues to resonate.

People and local leaders marching in the annual MLK Day March said the work of Dr. King has made a lasting impact that will be seen for years to come. People of all ages and races are remembering the sacrifices of Dr. King and how his accomplishments brought society to where it is today.

City of Erie Mayor Joe Schember said the work of Dr. King inspires how he serves the Erie community.

“My number one goal as mayor, I should say, is that I want to end racism and prejudice in Erie and have every person in Erie accept the unique talents and skills I believe everybody’s got. If we could achieve that, this would be an incredible place to be,” said Mayor Joe Schember, City of Erie.

One local teenager who wrote a poem titled “A Tribute to Martin Luther King Jr.” that interprets the struggles Dr. King endured, issues that children and people faced and how children today are impacted.

“I kind of see MLK Day as an inspiration for all of the young children to know that they too can make a change in their community. If they see something wrong, if they experience racism still today – it still happens today. It’s awful, but because of MLK, they can know that they have the ability to make a change,” said Genelia Kang, poet.

One common factor that most people agree on is that racism should end, it should be taught among children and the youth have an opportunity to make an impact.

“And the kids want to make a change then they’re going to make a change, and some people don’t think that racism will never change. I think it will change. If people want to make a change, it will change,” said Katrice Fisher, Erie resident.

Looking ahead, the president of the Erie NAACP branch said the future of America is in the hands of the youth.

“Young people have to embrace this dream in order for Erie to change and be the kind of place that King’s dream emanated out of and our young people. It’s all about our young people and what kind of America do they want to have,” said Gary Horton, president, Erie NAACP branch.

Mayor Schember said the efforts being made by the community currently coming together help move Erie forward.