WEST PEORIA (WEEK)--After the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. nearly 53 years ago, the on-going COVID-19 pandemic did not stop Peoria's annual MLK Freedom March as members of the community came together to celebrate.
The 35th annual march looked different than years prior yet, continued to honor the King's legacy by having a car parade to ensure social distancing.
Cars lined up in front of the Romeo B. Garrett Cultural Center at Bradley University and paraded 2.5 miles through West Peoria to Manual Academy for a commemorative drive-in service and awards ceremony.
Community members say honoring his dream should not be just today, but everyday.
"Martin Luther King was about non-violence. He was about making sure segregation stopped, that people were able to do things. We don't need violence to make a change. We need for us to come together as one community to make a change." Said Gloria Clark, President of Peoria Community Against Violence.
Another member of the community, Anita Nelson who's favorite holiday is MLK Day, says to keep the dream alive, we have to come together as one, not just one group of people.
"We all have something we want to march about, but we have to do it peacefully. It's time for us to come together as people--come in love, not for the color of our skin. We have to live here together and in order to get along, we have to be together."