Four cadets from the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Academy stepped off the 2010 City of San Antonio Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative March Jan. 18.
Following them, more than 100,000 adults and children marched in honor of the nation’s revered civil-rights leader.
The San Antonio march is reported to be the largest in the nation.
Firetrucks, VIA transportation buses, San Antonio Waste Management trucks, Triple Trail riders on horseback and police vehicles led the group on the 2.83 mile trek from the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Academy at 3501 MLK Drive to Pittman-Sullivan Park this past Monday.
Within the march, participants chanted, “Bless the day… MLK! Bless this Day… MLK!”
Hispanic advocates representing the San Antonio March for Justice Organization Committee, organizers of the thiteenth annual César E. Chávez March for Justice scheduled for March 28, used their voices to blast the motto from the United Farm Workers: “Sí se puede,” which means “Yes, we can.”
Marchers of every race all seemed to lean upon one another, walking as one.
Some wore work uniforms they would use after the march; some came in work uniforms they had already worn for a morning shift.
Lacey Gonzales, a 23-year-old CVS employee left her normal 3:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. graveyard shift early to join in the celebration of Dr. King, Jr.’s life.
“I have to make the march; it has been a part of my life for the last six years,” Gonzales said.
“I have had several jobs that it wasn’t always easy to make the march, but some things are more important than work – especially history.”
Danyelle Steen, a 35-year-old resident of San Antonio’s east side, has been attending the march as long as she can remember. But from her perspective, only the ages of the attendees have changed; the march itself has kept its significance.
“To see a lot of the younger generations – my daughter is 21 and my son is 17– and for our own children to be able to see this as I once did is important,” Steen said. The mother of two summed up the march in one word, “history.”
The focus of this years march was “Education: Marching in the reality of the dream.”