Every year, hundreds of people ride the Freedom Train from San Jose to San Francisco and every year they march, just like Dr. King did. For him, it was about equality and freedom, and it is still is for many.
"Freedom, peace, it represents a lot for people of color, minorities, everybody," Shayla Boyd participant said.
"It's so good to not sit home or go shopping, but to honor it with service," participant Jackie Watkins said.
As they arrived at the Bay Area's largest celebration, this year held at Yerba Buena gardens, many were talking about serving others not just for one day, but all year long.
At the Oakland School for the Arts, students from schools in underserved communities came together to honor Dr. King's legacy through music. It is a day that many students had off, but they came to learn and teach about respect for others.
"No matter how rich you are no matter how poor, not matter what race of gender, everyone was created equal and everyone should be treated the same," high school student Kevin Paniagua said.
"We just all are joyful and we acknowledge what he went through and realize the meaning of his teachings," high school student Henry Eik said.
The song "Lean on Me" was performed and in the words of Dr. King, "everybody can be great because everybody can serve."
"Hopefully they felt they were a part of something larger than themselves. So some of those senses of difference kinds went away and what they looked at was something bigger and more important," organizer Kiff Gallagher said.