Thousands turn out for Unity March, reflecting on the legacy of MLK

SPOKANE, Wash. — It wasn’t the color of their skin, but the content of their character that brought generations together on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

It is the only federal holiday that is also a national day of service – everyone is encouraged to volunteer and improve their communities.

People came together for the Unity March in downtown Spokane, honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“I think of the difference he made in this world, that everyone can live together in equality,” said Gloria Liu.

People of all backgrounds carried his mission on through the streets, and at Monday’s rally at the Spokane Convention Center.

“They had everybody link hands… I was just sitting there thinking about how beautiful of a scene it is,” said Jacquelynne Sandoval.

Sandoval is a newcomer to the Inland Northwest.

“I think if everyone just pauses and takes a beat every once in a while, and just remembers we’re all human, we’re all here we need to love each other, work together,” she said, “we’ll just end up moving our community forward.”

She said it was Dr. King’s simple message that compelled her to come out for the rally.

When King died, another attendant at the rally, Rusty Nelson, was just a young man, fighting in the jungles of Vietnam.

“I didn’t understand what he did, what he meant to this country until later on,” said Nelson. “This is really important to me, and I’ve gone from being a recovering racist to a trans-racial family, right on down to my grandchildren.”

Through the years, and with celebrations like Monday’s – Nelson is reminded of how Dr. King changed his perspective. He even credits the iconic civil rights leader for saving his life.

“He was so right to use non-violence as his weapon against injustice,” said Nelson, “and he was so right to remind Christians that we are called not to be secure, but to do our thing for other people.”