The Tyler Together Race Relations Forum held the 27th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Interfaith Community Program for 2013 on Monday.
"Today's event is a gathering of Tyler to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. and the realization day by day of his dream," Tyler Together board member B.J. Hornbostel, said.
The event began Monday morning at 9 a.m. on the downtown square in Tyler. A few members of the community spoke briefly and the John Tyler High School band played.
Numerous races, religions and generations were represented at the program, and then they marched, led by the band, to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Tyler.
"Today means that we can come and celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King for our freedom rights, where all the black and whites can go to school together and drink at the same water fountains and play together," 12-year-old Destiny Williams said.
"Martin Luther King Day is a statement that we understand our freedoms and understand that a man gave his life, so that we have those freedoms today," City of Tyler Mayor Barbara Bass said.
At the church a few hymns were sung and words of encouragement read, but the speaker who garnered most of the attention was Fred McClure, a man who has broken down many racial barriers, being the first black FFA president.
"Dr. King once said when a person is no longer a true participant, when he no longer feels a sense of responsibility to his society, the content of democracy is empty," McClure said.
His speech ended with a standing ovation, and perhaps proving Martin Luther King Jr's dream is still alive.
"My dream is that I can be a doctor and be able to get all the knowledge in my head, so I can be the doctor I want to be," Destiny Williams said.
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