On Monday, January 18th they came by the thousands to celebrated the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The celebration was one of hundreds taking place all over the nation, commerating the achievements and death of civil rights leader Dr. King.
In San Antonio, the Martin Luther King Jr. March has been held since 1968 making today's the 32nd such event.
With no exact number of participates known, a staffer of the San Antonio MLK Commission estimated the number to be over 100,000 which continues to give San Antonio national recognition as the largest march for the civil rights leader.
It was in the cold and misty morning that many came to set up food booths near the final destination at Pittman-Sullivan Park. The choices were varied from turkey legs to hot fajita tacos at Lupe's Gorditas stand which sold for $3 each. Many others were distributing printed material about programs and learning facilities. The row of portable potties lined the sidewalk.
Edwin Pope stood in the middle of the crowd with his five children. He had brought them to the celebration for the first time because he felt they should be aware about their history and especially what Dr. Martin Luther King had done that made things possible for him and now his family.
"I brought my children for the first time to celebrate Dr. King's achievements but also to let them know that the reason why they have access to so many things in American is because of what Dr. king and others did for them," Pope said." "Because they are so young, I think this is going to take time for them to realize it but being here is a first step."
Seventy-four year old Leslie Foster came early for a good seat along with his wife Mattie. Both have lived in San Antonio for many years. " I feel real good about everything especially the movement and the accomplishments that we have made with Barrack Obama being the first African American to be President and I think that has drawn many young people to this event," Foster added. "What you hear from the older African American is that they never thought it would happen." "My intuition tells me that there are going to be a lot more achievements and
accomplishments in the years to come althought it won't happen overnight, its going to take some time, Foster said.
The two mile march from the MLK Freedom Bridge in the 3500 block of Martin Luther King Drive ended with the largest concentration of participatants at the Pittman-Sullivan Park, 1101 Iowa, with plenty of visible security. Early during the event, the growing crowd was told that the nation was watching and asked that they remain civil and orderly in the memory of Dr. King. Security has high and no incidents were reported as more than 100,000 remembered Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.