Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. ‘Freedom March’ in Lexington

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MLK Day 'Freedom March' 2021 1/18/2021

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Hundreds of people, including Governor Andy Beshear, braved the cold, sang and celebrated the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during Lexington’s annual Freedom March downtown Monday.

The crowd started at the Central Bank Center and circled back.

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Garland Watkins said he’s been marching for nine years and doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

“It’s important to me to let the people know we do still have unity and the red scarf is for stopping the bloodshed,” Watkins said. “It’s just something to get together with all of my brothers and sisters.”

One trio, Pam Hughes, Mary Russell and Anissa Webb, said it was their first time marching, and less than two weeks from the riot at the U.S. Capitol, said it’s especially important to share Dr. King’s message.

“We need some peace right now and that’s what Martin Luther King was about,” Hughes said. “He was about justice for all Americans.”

Michael McNeal has been in the march for 15 years. He made a piece of art with Dr. King and brings it every year to convey a simple message.

“If we had more peace and love on Earth a whole lot of this stuff that goes around here wouldn’t be here, McNeal said.

The trio says the diversity of the crowd shows that Dr. King’s dream of unity between all races is becoming more of a reality each day, despite recent social unrest.

“There’s a lot of hate in this world, but everyone does not feel that way,” Hughes said. “You see all races out because I do believe that all races want to work together.”

“This is a new day,” Russell said. “This is a new time, and it’s time for us to move forward together – not separate, but together.”