DALLAS (AP) — Parades and rallies were held Monday in cities across Texas to salute slain civil rights leader the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. on the national holiday in his name.
At a community march in Austin, participants were encouraged to donate items to a food bank. Thousands took part in an MLK march in San Antonio. There were two parades in Houston to honor King's legacy, as well as parades in Dallas and Fort Worth.
Teens with the day off school joined the MLK march in San Antonio.
"It brings everybody together," 16-year-old Zachary Davis told the San Antonio Express-News.
Davis, a Samuel Clemens High School student, added that he tries to participate in the march every year.
"I'm supporting Martin Luther King and everything he's done for us — and everyone, actually," Davis said.
Deion Stewart, 15, from the same high school, has participated in the march for the past two years.
"It's a reminder that we all have to stick together and come as one, and never forget what we've been through and how far we've come for what we have today," Stewart said.
The Toros Motorcycle Club has attended the MLK march in San Antonio since 1999. The group's two dozen members watch the start of the march before welcoming march-goers at a park.
"It's a momentous occasion; we wouldn't miss it. We're a predominantly African American motorcycle club, so it's a civic responsibility to show our support," said Willie "Hawkeye" Lindsay, president of the group's San Antonio chapter.
In Houston, Jeff Moore, his wife and two sons attended the MLK Grande Parade.
"Every year we come down with the boys," Moore told the Houston Chronicle. "Part of it is they enjoy the music and the bands. But it also gives them a historical context for a lot of the privileges we have today that we haven't always had. And Dr. King had a lot to do with that."
The University of Texas at Brownsville and Texas Southernmost College planned a day of service Monday. The Volunteer Center of Lubbock offered service projects such as making Valentine's Day cards for veterans and sorting clothing donations to a charitable group.
The Abilene Black Chamber of Commerce scheduled an MLK dinner Monday night.