Wilmington celebrates Dr. King's life, legacy

WILMINGTON -- Hundreds of people hit the streets of Wilmington Monday to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Many were out on the streets of Wilmington to take in the excitement. The children didn't have school, but that doesn't mean they didn't spend the day getting a history lesson. A group from the Southeastern After-School Program spent their holiday celebrating the life of Dr. King. Teacher Justine Montgomery said, "A lot of them have never been to a parade, a lot of them have never been out on Martin Luther King Day, so it was a perfect day from them to come out to interact with the community and also be apart of this experience." The experience many say needs to be shared with younger generations. Wilmington resident Leneatha Reynolds said, "He stood for peace and justice and that's what I try to teach my children: to get along with all people regardless of the color of their skin. We are all people and we should all treat each other equally." Parade attendee Joi Reynolds said, "It was Dr. Martin Luther King's anniversary and I wanted to be here." From the huge crowd it was clear that thousands of people wanted to honor the man who changed our way of life. Parade attendee John Richardson said, "A lot has changed since the days of Martin Luther King, that before there was a lot of racism going on with whites and blacks being separated, and it has brought us all together as a family today, and I'm proud to be out here today." Sheila Griffin was also at the parade. She said, "He brought a lot of people together and it brings tears to my eyes, I'm really happy to be here with all these people." Congressman Mike McIntyre said, "Wilmington really stands up for what it means to have equal opportunity and when you see a celebration like this it speaks volumes about the character of the people in this area and that's something we can all be proud of." More than 50 floats, bands and community organizations participated in the event. Many people also thought it was important to bring their children out to the parade to share a little history with them.

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