Knoxville celebrates the life of Dr. Martin Luther King

Knoxville (WVLT) -- It has been a day full of celebrations all across East Tennessee to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Volunteer TV's Kim Bedford takes us to MLK Avenue in East Knoxville where hundreds of East Tennesseans paid tribute to Dr. King through a parade.

"Free at last! free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"

Freedom rang throughout the entire stretch of Martin Luther King, Junior Avenue today.

Knox County Commissioner, Thomas "Tank" Strickland says, "It's showing harmony for this day. It's showing that people are trying to get together, be together, be as one behind the theme of what Dr. King stood for, standing tall."

Standing tall and proud, several different races side by side, just as Dr. King would've wanted.

Diana Walker honored Dr. King and says, "He fought for us. He had a dream and he believed in it and it came true."

Music filled the air and some groups paid tribute to Dr. King from head to toe.

Strickland says, "He gave us opportunity, told us to keep our heads up, that opportunity's around the corner and we can do whatever we want to do in life as long as we do the right thing."

Tonya Reese honored Dr. King and says, "I think it's wonderful that these opportunities are for everyone in Knoxville."

Racial equality was Dr. King's main goal.

Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam says, "I do think we've come a long way, but I still think we have room to grow. But I think it's always important to recognize how far you have come without letting up on the momentum to keep going."

Walker says, "Every single day is that we're free. We have the options to make decisions."

Decisions that continue to bring us closer to his dream still today.

"Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!"

150 different groups took part in the honorary parade, braving the cold temperatures for four miles.

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