COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) – Hundreds of citizens across the Chattahoochee Valley kicked off the holiday weekend with a tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The "Dream Lives" event honored the civil rights leader's legacy of unity and racial equality.
The sound of hundreds of feet marching on the streets of Columbus, not to protest, but to honor the legacy, the dream of a native Georgian, and civil rights champion, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Columbus mayor Teresa Tomlinson addressed the crowd standing on a stage outside the Liberty Theater, the city's first black theater, reminding everyone gathered that King's dream lives.
"And today, the reason why you're here is we're celebrating as a community. These celebrations are where relationships start. Look around, because you're going to see people you do not know, and they're here celebrating the same dream you are," Mayor Tomlinson said.
A federal holiday since 1986, MLK Day marks the civil rights leader's birthday. King's words echoed among the crowd, as speakers read from his famous "I Have a Dream" speech.
Other speakers talked about the need to seek progress and change through sacrifice, just like those who followed King in the 1960s.
The impact of this holiday weekend is not lost on even the youngest of Columbus' citizens.
"It means we can celebrate what Martin Luther King did," said choir singer Kori Hickey.
"It means that Martin Luther King was a great man, and he did all these things for people's rights," choir singer Kaylah Hickey said
This year's "Dream Lives" tribute was organized by the Mayor's Commission on Unity, Diversity and Prosperity— a large, varied group promoting equal access to opportunity and resources for everyone in the community.