WASHINGTON- Attendees in Washington D.C. celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday with a fervent peace rally followed by a parade that echoed the principles of equality and justice that the civil rights figure championed.
The heart of the commemoration lay in the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Peace Walk, held on the federal MLK holiday, which drew “peace walkers” from diverse backgrounds, all united in the pursuit of peace.
Organized by the Coalition for Peace, a group of individuals and nonprofits dedicated to fostering peace and positivity within Washington D.C. metropolitan communities, the Peace Walk has become a symbol of unity and a call for social change.
“It’s a beautiful day today,” said DeJuan Mason, the MLK Peace Walk co-chair. “This celebration involves being an active part of this event, giving back, and amplifying voices.”
The Peace Walk commenced with chants, “No freedom, no peace!” The powerful slogan echoed across Martin Luther King Junior Avenue, in earshot of those who still struggle for equality and transforming the Peace Walk into a moving tribute and a collective call for action.
This year, a distinctive element was added to the event. Participants who had tragically lost loved ones to gun violence carried signs with photographs of their departed family members. As they walked in solidarity, the signs sent a powerful message: “Stop the violence.”
“This year, our focus is on stopping violence, seeking justice, and empowering youth to speak truth to power,” Mason said. “We have a community that loves one another and comes together, embodying Dr. King’s dream right here.
Here are images from the march: