Marching to remember Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Students and community members celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by marching through the snow-covered campus of Central Michigan University to downtown Mount Pleasant for a candlelight vigil on the afternoon of Jan. 18.
“People marched and died to fight for something that’s important, and history can repeat itself very quickly if we don’t pay attention to it," said Alex Christmas, one of the students who marched.
The march is important so the past is not forgotten, said the Port Huron sophomore.
"I think a lot of places ignore today and just take the day off and say they commemorate it, but at Central we’re actually doing something about it," Christmas said.
The cold didn't keep students from marching to remember the civil rights leader. Some had signs that read "black lives matter," "Selma is now," "CMU march is on" and "#BeTheChange." The annual march was led by Multicultural Academic Student Services.
WATCH: Students march the annual MLK march from campus to downtown in Mt.Pleasant.
"Not only do we do things on the day, but we have events all week long so people have an opportunity to reflect on how much of an impact the civil rights movement had on our lives and the lives of other people," Christmas said.
Many students who attended the march also believed it is an important tradition in celebrating and remembering Dr. King.
Warren junior Cecilia Scotta said the awareness of Dr. Martin Luther King Day is growing with each year.
"Every year it gets bigger and bigger no matter how cold it is, and it just shows you how important this is," Scotta said. "I’ve seen a lot of coverage on it today, even people just talking about how important it is. The fact that people do this, not just for a requirement for a class, but because they want to."
For some people, it was their first time attending the march. Grand Rapids sophomore Madison Veneklase was encouraged to participate by her professor.
"I knew the walk was done last year, and I wanted to see what it was about," Veneklase said. "You wonder about what all these people are doing out here."