PHOTOS: The legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dr. King's birthday became a national holiday following an act by Congress in 1986.
In Washington, D.C. dozens gathered at the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial to lay a wreath to honor the late reverend. It was just one of many events held in his honor across the nation Monday, including a Celebration Train ride right here in the Bay Area.
The Celebration Train from San Jose to San Francisco carried hundreds of people for free so that they could attend a march to honor the Civil Rights leader in the city.
Passengers sang spiritual hymns during the ride, some carried signs and history books for children. Everyone onboard came with a purpose and most everyone left with a lesson learned about the many teachings of Dr. King.
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"I want our baby right here to know about how we struggled in the world," said Priscilla Dixon, who took the train ride with her grandchildren.
"I want my child to know that they have a voice, that they have a strong voice that they need to tell people," said Melissa Ross, who was traveling with her two young children.
At the San Mateo stop, people were anxiously waiting at the station to greet those making the journey. The last stop in San Francisco is where they joined hundreds more who had taken to the streets for a march for freedom.
This year a divided nation and talk about how to come together in these trying times was on almost everyone's mind.
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"We want to remember what Martin Luther King did for us in terms of remembering that Civil Rights are important and equality is important," said Tom Matta, a San Francisco resident.
"With the past election especially with this view of racism and women's rights just being attacked, me personally I wanted to make sure that I was counted," said Christine Perry.
Even the youngest in the crowd seemed to understand the importance of Dr. King's legacy. "He made it so everyone would come together, black and white," said Jack Dayneko, who came out with his parents to the march.
Click here for a list of MLK Day of Service events where you live.
Click here to see how Dr. King is being honored in the Bay Area and across the country.