Hundreds Attend MLK Events In Roanoke

Roanoke, VA - Hundreds of people showed up at a variety of different events across the Roanoke Valley geared toward the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

While many people take advantage of the MLK holiday to catch up on life's busy needs, Roanoke's Fire Prevention and Community Outreach Specialist, Tiffany Bradbury, is happily organizing dozens of volunteers to get the word out about fire prevention.

The day she has chosen is no coincidence.

"It's just a way for us to show all the things that he stood for and we want to try to mirror that in what we're out here doing today and we want to make him proud," said Bradbury.

Meeting people like Angelique Medley who, like Bradbury, would rather spend the day off promoting what Dr. King would have wanted from her.

"He served and did a lot. We are actually together. To have black and white people together it is just amazing," said Medley.

For many of the students from Roanoke's Community High, the day is not only about service itself, but also about understanding a time from a bygone era by continuing to clean up a long neglected African American cemetery that is a residual scar from Roanoke's darker history.

"We think it's important as a school to honor this day and take it in the spirit that it was intended," said Josh Chapman who is the Academic Director for Community High.

A history lived by many of those paying homage at Dr. King's Memorial in downtown.

While not perfect change since King's death more than 45 years ago, the change is noticeable.

"Dr. King's legacy seems to be growing. Especially among the young people. To see the sacrifices that he made. So I think you see a lot of interest and that's why we have the turnout we have today," said Roanoke city councilman, Sherman Lea.

This is the 5th year folks honoring Dr. King have marched from the King Memorial Bridge, in downtown, to First Baptist Church in Gainesboro.

That's because it took until 2008 for that memorial to even have been realized.

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