Community members come out to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.

Photo credit: Joel Dyar
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT News)-- Marchers from all different walks of life, to honor one man and his legacy.

On Monday more than one hundred people came together to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at city hall, followed by a commemorative march along the streets.

“We want to be sure that we’re doing things and that we’re treating people not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character,” says Eric Ward with Black Citizens & Friends of Mesa County. “This is our committee’s way of reaching out to the community to say we want to do more for inclusivity we want to do more diversity, we want to do more for change.”

This year a new addition of 6 ft. tall flags lined the marked route of the march. Jeriel Clark and members of Black Citizens for Mesa County said it was time for these flags to be put up for Dr. King. Clark says the Redlands Lions Club donated 20 flags to be placed along heavily traveled streets.

“For basically every nationally recognized holiday we see flags out in various neighborhoods except for MLK day,” says Clark. “We were able to put some of the placards alongside some of the flags so that people remembered that today is MLK day and that it’s a great day to remember.”

A century ago marks a very different atmosphere. In the 1920s, the Ku Klux Klan was prevalent in Colorado, with its fair share in Grand Junction.

“We are still working towards change, we’ve made some good strides but we have to make even more strides,” says Ward.

But today, neighbors coming together; teaching the next generation of a positive message.

“That’s the passion that you have to have, the kids always come first,” says Ward

Following the march, a celebration took place at the Love Recital Hall at CMU. This year's keynote speaker was Dr. Reo Leslie.

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