"Realization of hope" theme of King celebration

January 19, 2009 6:02:30 PM PST
Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King on the 80th anniversary of his birth. The largest local celebration took place in San Francisco at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium where people from around the Bay Area gathered for song and speech.

The theme of Monday's celebration was "The Realization of Hope," a theme embodied in the inauguration of Barrack Obama. Martin Luther King's legacy and his dream have come true.

"He would have to say, 'Yes I gave my life.' I didn't know, however, that we would have an African-American president as soon as we have had," said Rev. Cecil Williams of Glide Memorial Church.

The voice of Martin Luther King became an inspiration for the crowd in attendance. "We will be able to transform the tangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood" -- a memorable line from a King speech.

"He made a big impact on my life. I have a better perspective and a better outlook on people of different colors," said Warren Martin of Vallejo.

"For me seeing the change, seeing that we've come a long way, and I appreciate it," said Carlett Daniels of San Francisco.

"To see us take this next step really shows how far we've come," said Taub Buckner of San Francisco.

"I think it's a wonderful experience for all Americans to come together and just unite," said Jeanette Moore of San Francisco.

The celebration at the Civic Center was a joyous one, remembering Dr. King's words that people strive for their goals, no matter the distance.

Eleven-year-old Gabi Wilson of Vallejo, named "the most talented kid in America," performed at the celebration. A reminder that the story and the dream get passed on to another generation.

Don't ever give up says Rev. Williams.

"Get all you can, study hard, work hard, make things happen," said Rev. Williams.