The local four-day MLK Weekend Celebration culminated with the Freedom March down Broad Street on Monday. Hundreds braved chilly temperatures in order to honor slain Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and his message of peace and unity.

Alvin Jackson, spokesman for the MLK Commission of Rome and Northwest Georgia, asserts that Dr. King would have never let adversity – such as a deep freeze – keep him from marching. It is because of this, he adds, that Romans were able to march with their message of unity down Broad.

Deacon Hudson Watkins, Lovejoy Baptist Church, enthuses that he is proud of the fact that the local MLK Weekend Celebration is the largest of its kind in the state of Georgia.

Newly-minted Rome City Commissioner Bonny Askew believes that we can best honor Dr. King’s dream by having our own dreams.

Barbara Elliott, an active member of the Rome Exchange Club, says that she participated in the Freedom March as a personal demonstration of unity with others.

Local musician Seth Turner was joined by his family for the march. He says Dr. King’s message needs to be perpetuated from generation to generation.

The annual Freedom March was followed by a special noonday program at the Rome City Auditorium featuring keynote speaker Meredith Lilly, Director of External Affairs for DeKalb County.

The third Monday in January has been observed as a federal holiday to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. since 1986 – that was the same year that the local MLK Weekend Celebration began.