DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – It’s a day dedicated to a civil rights icon who helped shape the American experience, and there were Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebrations at Dayton and across the nation.
Marchers in downtown Dayton say the community still working to fulfill his dream.
This year’s mantra was “I’m still here.”
Organizers say it means that despite the current struggles, the community is still here and still standing strong and that people are working to fulfill Dr. King’s dreams.
Walking on the shoulders of civil rights pioneers that is what many said they did in Monday morning’s march.
First time marcher, Tammy Page says it’s important to revisit the legacy and words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“We need to start having more peace and stop all this killing,” she said. “People need to come together because we all were raised together to love each other and I’m so glad we got this opportunity to march for him.”
Young and old did come together.
They marched as the words of Dr. King could be heard playing over the crowd.
MLK Day march organizer, Amaha Sellassie was pleased to see just how many people faced the elements to march together.
“It was cold and it was a struggle, but this is nothing compared to what they(civil rights pioneers) faced before so we need to stand that we wouldn’t be where we are without them,” he reflected.
Daniel Smith agrees.
“It’s important because if you don’t know you’re history you’re doomed to repeat it.”
For Coach Jimmy Gamblin of the Dayton Gators, he believes history will be molded by the next generation. And he hopes in bringing his players to the march they see the work they still need to do.
“I think we are half way,” he explained. “I don’t think we’re there. I don’t think we’re at the top of the mountain so to speak, but I do believe we’re climbing the mountain.”