MIAMI (CBSMiami) – In Miami, it promised to be a memorable evening as the community remembered the life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
A large crowd begin gathering early in Miami for the 15th annual Reclaim The Dream celebration of Dr. King’s life and work.
The message being that King’s work is far from over, the struggle will go on.
“He represents the dream,” said Michelle McKoy. “And at this event we’re hoping to reclaim the dream and bring back or reinforce his initial vision.”
“Martin Luther King was a great inspiration to all of us, all generations,” said event participant Daynette Rolle.
A new element this year was a rally against gun violence.
If Dr. King could see it – so pervasive in our cities-what might he think and say?
“I think Dr. King would be saddened. It’s another avenue of where we are not free. He would be adamant about having responsible laws for the sales and purchase of guns,” said Christine King (no relation) from the MLK Economic Development Corporation.
Along with a call to stop gun violence, Wednesday night’s MLK celebration includes speakers, gospel singers and media personalities.
“We all know that we stand on the shoulders of so many, and Dr. King did so much for so many,“ said James “T“ Thomas of Hot 105 FM.
Also on the program a candle light vigil marking 50 years since Dr. King was assassinated while fighting to advance equality.
“It hurt me as a young man to see him go down like that and he was a great leader and he paved the way for us young folks and what we’re doing now,” said Ricky Derae who says he remembers the exact moment he heard about Dr. King’s assassination.
Appropriately the celebration was held in Athalir Range Park. Range was a civil rights pioneer in Miami, becoming the first African-American ever to sit on the Miami city commission, and the first African-American ever to head a state agency, the Department of Community Affairs.