Thousands march in Waikiki to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Thousands march in Waikiki to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

(Image: Hawaii News Now) (Image: Hawaii News Now)
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

From Washington, D.C. to Waikiki on Monday, people gathered to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Thousands turned out for the annual parade down Kalakaua Avenue to honor the iconic civil rights leader, while others participated in simple acts of service across Oahu.

The day also gave many a chance to reflect on President Barack Obama's time in office.

"With this celebration, I think it's a great reminder of where we came from, where we are now, and the power of coming together as people," said Nicole Woo, a performer in the Sewa Fare dance group.

The ended with a unity rally at Kapiolani Park featuring entertainment, food, and opportunities to reflect on the many contributions to the civil rights movement.

"It's a holiday that not only celebrates Dr. King, but all the people whose shoulders we're standing on," said organizer Marsha Rose Joyner. 

For Deloris Guttman, the celebration is bittersweet as Obama finishes his last week in office.    

She says the president, just like Dr. King before him, fought for everyone and has inspired the next generation of African-American leaders.    

"Obama has given them hope by just being there. That's what's important. He's a symbol of hope and the door is open," Guttman said. 

Meanwhile, Obama spent his last MLK Day in office visiting a family shelter in Washington, D.C. The first family helped paint a mural as part of their annual day of service. 

As preparations continue for President-Elect Donald Trump's inauguration on Friday, many at Honolulu's event say it is important to never lose sight of Dr. King's vision and always remember that communities have the ability to create historic change.

"Whatever we get from the Trump administration, we have all of those people willing and ready and excited about moving forward," Joyner said. 

Also on Monday, Martin Luther King III, the son of the slain civil rights leader, had what he calls a "very constructive" meeting with Trump. It comes in the aftermath of a war of words between Trump and Georgia Congressman John Lewis, who was at the center of the civil rights movement.

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