HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow)- Whether it was with a full-fledged band, decorated ride or a simple sign, many turned out on Kalakaua Avenue to celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
"Dr. Martin Luther King was a man far above other men with his thoughts and his teachings and his preaching," said Carolyn Williams, Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority member.
This August marks 50 years since King's 'I Have a Dream' speech, where he hoped that one day people wouldn't be "judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."
Admiral Frank Ponds, commander of the Navy Region Hawaii, feels that dream is much closer to becoming a reality.
"When you look around here today, you see all sorts of people having a great time," said Ponds, who also served as grand marshal for this morning's Martin Luther King, Jr. parade.
"He would love this environment. That people can get together and think about nothing except what we can do together for the community. This is his legacy."
Many also felt it was fitting that today coincides with President Obama's second inauguration.
"If you look back in 1968 or when Dr. King passed away, how many people envisioned an african-american president?," said Jay Galbreath, Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity member. "It shows how the culture has changed. It shows how we've progressed so much."
Shortly after the parade, many gathered for a unity rally to celebrate Dr. King's tenets of peace and equality, but the overarching theme was about continuing his work.
"We have come a long way and we still have a way to go," Williams said. "We are striving to make progress and as we've progressed along the years, more progress will be made and we'll see more people like Dr. Martin Luther King."