TEMPLE, Texas – Temple citizens celebrated the impact and legacy of the late civil rights leader on Monday evening.
City leaders, State Representative Hugh Shine, as well as the president of Temple’s chapter of the NAACP, led the community in the Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration.
The crowd was moved by a reinactment of Dr. King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech.
Locked arm and arm, as civil rights demonstrators did in 60’s, the crowd filled with young and old marched.
Many made signs paying respect to Dr. King and shouting chants that echo from decades ago – “No justice, no peace”.
A mother was beaming with pride as she observed history taking root in her children.
“It’s a feeling of overwhelming joy. It’s very inspirational, and it feels good to teach them a part of our history for them to be apart of it,” she says.
Students came out to participate as well, because they say it’s important to remember not just what Dr. King accomplished – but why it was needed in the first place.
“It took a lot of bravery and courage to do what he did because he could’ve stood back and done nothing – but he chose to be a leader and bring people together. And we need to be reminded of why we’re together,” one student says.
A young man we spoke with shared what it meant for him to be a part of it all.
“It felt delightful to be participating in something inspiring and meaningful,” he says.
He added that he doesn’t take it for granted to live out the dream of one of America’s most celebrated leaders.
He’s hopeful Dr. King’s leadership and lessons left behind will continue to propel the country forward in the future.