Thousands of people came out for Miami’s annual Martin Luther King Day parade in Liberty City – an event that held special resonance because of its timing.
As many paradegoers were honoring the memory of the late civil rights leader, they were also celebrating the second inauguration of President Barack Obama, the country’s first African-American president.
"Wow, that's just a tremendous combo, it couldn't get any better than this, it's a dream becoming a reality," former Miami City Commissioner Richard Dunn said about celebrating MLK Day along with the inauguration.
Numerous marching bands took part in the parade, traveling along NW 54th Street from NW 12th Avenue to NW 32nd Avenue. The performers came from Florida International University, Booker T. Washington Senior High School, Miami Northwestern Senior High School and two middle schools, among others.
Travyon Martin’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, and his brother rode in a vehicle in the parade.
"Dr. King would approve because it's something positive. I still have an issue and that's the reason I keep fighting for my son because you should have a right to walk in peace and you shouldn't have to worry about someone following you and doing some kind of harm to you," said Fulton.
Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, Miami city commissioners and many members of the Miami-Dade county commission and school board were among the dignitaries attending the event.
"We're here for the legacy and life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, but at the same time, we're celebrating the inauguration of our president, Barack Obama," said Preston Marshall, who attended the parade.
Meanwhile, a man collapsed while watching the parade, but after he was helped by one firefighter, he walked away by himself.
The parade lasted until about 2 p.m. Streets that have been closed in Liberty City for the parade will be re-opened to drivers at about 5 p.m.
In Fort Lauderdale, a parade set off from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary, heading east and then north to Dillard High School.
YMCAs in six cities in Broward County hosted the YMCA MLK Day of Service "to inspire all to give back to their neighbors in need and foster a strengthened sense of social responsibility."
For more information on the project, which is sponsored by Florida Power & Light, visit www.ymcabroward.org.
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