EUGENE, Ore. -- Hundreds lined up along the frosty sidewalks of MLK Boulevard Monday morning to remember Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy by marching through the streets of Eugene.
“He is a hero," said Eugene-resident Carl Stubbs. "He believed in the greatness of mankind and I think that is something we still strive for today.”
“It shows the world the importance of freedom, the importance of being unified as one people,” said Lenana Faraj, a University of Oregon student.
For some it is much more than remembering a legacy. One of the marchers, Polly Moak, the day is about remembering how much the nation has changed since she grew up in the south during the civil rights movement.
“I was heartbroken the day he died, I was 16. I found out about when I was with my friends,” said Moak. “My new best friend was wearing a button that said never. I didn't know what it meant and it meant never should we have integrated schools."
Leading the march was a group of children holding a banner emblazoned with the NAACP’s logo.
Just before stepping off on their route along the foggy banks of the Willamette River, the group of kids lead the marchers in a chant of, "Ain't no power like the power of the people because the power of the people don't stop."
At 11 a.m. the procession got underway, their destination being the Shedd Institute in downtown Eugene to hear from some very special guest speakers.
Attending the post-march event thrown by the NAACP were celebrities like actor Quinton Aaron from the movie "The Blind Side," and singer Ray J.
“The turnout today was respectable we didn't really know what it was going to be. But for it to be a full packed house lets you know how much respect people have for Dr. King,” Ray J told KVAL News.
Actor Danny Glover was also supposed to have attended Monday's events, but organizers said he fell ill and couldn't attend.
The NAACP has held a Martin Luther King Jr. Day march in Eugene for the past 10 years, and this is the first year the event featured celebrity guests.