Denton residents marched in memory of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday.
University of North Texas students met residents at the American Legion Hall on Lakey Street and marched to the Martin Luther King Jr. Recreation Center.
But they gathered not only to celebrate the civil rights leader but to celebrate the inauguration of President Barack Obama.
As between 200 and 300 people marched down Wilson Street, one girl held a sign that read: “Rosa sat so Martin could walk. Martin walked so Obama could run. Obama ran so children could fly.”
Cynthia Carter wore a pin with Obama’s and King’s pictures on it that said, “A Legacy of Hope.”
“We are making history,” Carter said before the march Monday. “We still feel like we have a long way to go but we are making progress.”
Carter said she is glad to see Obama back in the White House.
Denesha Factory, a recreation specialist at the center, said the march is in memory of those who marched before them. King fought for civil rights through nonviolent protests, she said.
Monday started off with a flag football tournament for the youth and ended with the march and aservice held by area pastors.
But residents also met on Saturday to clean up Fred Moore Park to make King’s remembrance a time of service.
“This is supposed to be a time for people to give back,” Factory said.
Bobby Givens, director of the recreation center, said everyone should come out and sacrifice a little time because King was for everyone.
“This is a celebration for everyone — no matter color, no matter gender, no matter religious belief,” Givens said. “That’s what Martin Luther King was for. That’s what this is about. Every day we should stand as one.”
As people gathered for the march, they talked about the fulfillment of King’s dream but agreed there is still some progress to be made.
Peggy Jackson said King had a dream that came true.
“This is a day to celebrate,” she said.
“For everybody,” Mary Darrough added.
Greg Varner, who grew up with Jackson and Darrough, said it was a great day.
“I wish kids knew what it really represents,” he said.
He remembers growing up and not being allowed to play with white children.
“We knew what it was like then, and we know what it’s like now,” Varner said.
Delbert Lipscomb, associate pastor of Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church, said a dream has been fulfilled but not all of it.
“We’re getting where the dream is headed, I can say that,” Lipscomb said. “We’ve got a long way to go. It’s a long battle. The foundation has been laid.”
RACHEL MEHLHAFF can be reached at 940-566-6889. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .