MLK Jr. Day Resonates Across the Country

The country celebrates the life and messages of one of its greatest men as we pay tribute to the impact of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Americans from all over flooded into Washington, D.C. this holiday weekend, and the timing of President Barack Obama's second inauguration--in conjunction with the holiday--struck an emotional chord for many.

"Our President is now trying to continue his (King's) dream showing that it's very important that we all, as people, give back to each other," said Inauguration visitor Norma Winston.

KLEW News was at an event held at the United States Institute of Peace by the Points of Light Foundation, called America's Sunday Supper, in which Former U.S. Secretary of State General Colin Powell spoke to the attendees about the impact King had in the fight against the Jim Crow Laws that mandated segregation. He points out that the efforts of the civil rights leader reached far beyond just African Americans.

"It isn't that he freed black people from Jim Crow, he freed America. He freed white people from Jim Crow and that burden that they had on their backs," said Powell.

"We're here at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and there's still a lot of visitors here. And this is actually the spot where Dr. King spoke about a message of peace of harmony amongst all men and women. And if you can imagine looking out here, the throngs of thousands of people who were here to hear that message. He had another one too that he talked about. That was a message of service, and that's the prime message that so many are talking about this weekend for the Inauguration, as well as honoring him on Martin Luther King Day," reporter Nate Kuester said.

"It's the perfect way to continue what Dr. King has started and to keep us encouraged because the future is really bright," MLK monument visitor Anita Bullock said.

Anita Bullock is just one of the many thousands of people who visited the monument in honor of Dr. King on the National Mall in the nation's capitol. She also says she appreciates the current administration's desire to promote that message of service. The KLEW cameras caught up with Vice president Joe Biden at the D.C. Armory this weekend as he joined in the cause by helping assemble care packages for service men and women in the National Day of Service event organized by the Points of Light Foundation and supported by the Target Corporation. The message of service continued throughout the inaugural activities.
King's powerful words still carry tremendous weight, even now some several decades later.

"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today," said Martin Luther King Jr.