KILLEEN, Texas – Monday, January 17 is more than just another day off from work – it’s a day to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Those in Killeen celebrated by marching, despite other cities cancelling their walks due to COVID-19.

For the first time since COVID began, the NAACP organized a walking march to honor Dr. King.

“It is to support, and then also honor those who came before us. So without them, we wouldn’t be here,” said Dora Morton, President of the Killeen/ Fort Hood Chapter National Pan-Hellenic Council.

Last year, the event was held as a driving march – and attendees say they are glad to be out in person.

“It means a lot, because we are out here marching for somebody who did a lot for us. And, you know, we are just out here showing out support for him,” said Dylan Keys, a Shoemaker High School sophomore football player.

Those from the Divine Nine – the nine black, Greek fraternities and sororities in the area – showed up decked out in full color.

“Just fulfilling the legacy and supporting our community,” said Morton.

They used Monday as a day to celebrate equality and faith.

“He was asking all of us, everyone, regardless of race, color, creed, ethnicity to work together, to bring peace towards the world. Be a leader. First by starting in your own home, your community, your neighborhood, your county, your state and your country,” said Tony Swanson, Pride of Killeen #620 Masonic Organization. “It’s more than just a parade, or a day filled with speeches. It’s also a day for everyone to kind of double down on the message that Dr. Martin Luther King, basically being free for everyone, to be free for everyone. To experience freedom, and to be free from injustices around the world.”

Attendees say though there is progress to be made, we have come a long way.

“You would think that in the times for Martin Luther King, having that dream, that, you know, today we would be what he spoke about. But we still have more in the fight,” said Cornelius Marshall, of Knights Templar South Central Command Unit #37.

Because in the famous words of Dr. King, “Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle.”

“I really hope, at least this week, we can pass through the Senate the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and For The People Act, so that we can ensure the right to vote is preserved for everyone,” said Julie Oliver, Executive Director for Ground Game Texas.