WJTV News Channel 12 - Eastern Carolina pauses to remember Dr. King

Eastern Carolina pauses to remember Dr. King

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GREENVILLE, N.C. - The nation is pausing to remember Martin Luther King Jr. today with parades, marches and service projects.
     
In Washington, D.C. Monday morning, a wreath laying ceremony at the MLK monument marked a time to reflect on the lasting impact Dr. King made.
     
He was born on January 15th, 1929 so he would have turned 85 this month.
     
This federal holiday is the only federal holiday dedicated as a day of service.

In Greenville, people took to the street for their annual Martin Luther King Day march. Several Pitt County human rights organizations joined together for the march.
     
It began at Thomas Forman Park and wrapped up on the steps of the Pitt County courthouse.
     
The march highlighted the organizations' focus on social and economic issues like voter rights and education funding.
     
Organizer say it is all part of continuing Dr. King's legacy.

"Dr. King brought us so far but we have got to pick up the banner and continue to run with it until justice and equality has prevailed,” said Calvin Henderson, president, Pitt Co NAACP.

Greenville mayor Allen Thomas and other city officials represented Greenville at the rally. Several speakers brought remarks including the Pitt County Association of Educators, the NAACP, and the coalition against racism.

In Whitakers, more than 200 hundred people gathered for a parade and celebration. The annual event has been taking place for 24 years.

This year's theme was "Mandela and Martin: Peace and Justice Around the World."

Those in attendance were excited to celebrate King's life and legacy, but reminded each other that the work is not done.

"This is 2014. We still are demanding and asking for jobs," said Barbara Simmons, the Mayor of Enfield. "Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls, we still need freedom."
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