Thousands gather to commemorate a legend

FORT WORTH, Texas – Thousands from all corners of North Texas gathered at the downtown Convention Center here on Jan. 18 to remember a man who lifted a nation into the fight for equality.

At 11 a.m. the floats began to make their way down the street. People on all sides were waving and carrying posters or signs with pictures and quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. One that really caught my eye said, “An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of humanity.” It really portrays the need for us to change from viewing society as individuals and work together to achieve unity.

Such unity was seen during this parade, for thousands of people worked together to display a magnificent tribute to Dr. King. It also showed how far we have come as a society. During King’s time the nation was more divided by race, and now here at the parade were people of all backgrounds in unity.

The rising unemployment numbers seemed to have had a great impact on the parade, for there were labor union workers holding “Jobs now” signs. Jobs with Justice activists were gathering worker support by collecting signatures and handing out leaflets about the job crisis. Unsurprisingly, many people were willing to show their support as we are all feeling the pressure of this recession.

There were many kids on the floats as well as in the crowd. I guess it shows that the memory of Dr. King’s legacy will not die any time soon, and the coming generations will know of the sacrifice and struggle their forefathers had to endure to better the future.

When the march ended, a high school band played in the downtown Water Gardens, and a speaker followed.

Surprisingly, I don’t recall seeing any mainstream press, or any press at all for that matter. I was expecting to see the white vans the camera crews always drive. The parade was not just to commemorate a man who revolutionized the nation, but living proof that what Dr. King and so many others fought and died for was not in vain. All kinds of people can come together with unity.

Photo: Forth Worth, Jan. 18. (PW/Brandon Berrios)