(WBIR-Knoxville) As the nation commemorates the 50th anniversary of the civil rights March on Washington, community members from East Tennessee gathered to honor Martin Luther King Jr. Wednesday.
About 150 peoplegathered at Harvest Plaza in East Knoxville for an event to remember the "I have a Dream" speech Martin Luther King Jr. delivered in 1963.
Keynote speakers included a photographer who was there at the March on Washington. He said despite meeting four presidents, his most memorable moment behind the lens was Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech.
"It was the absolute turning point in this country that got the conscious of this country in the right place. Dr. King, he handled that, period. I can't even imagine anyone else that could come close to what that man did," said photographer Wayne Naples.
A former NYC firefighter and security guard for Martin Luther King Jr. also spoke to the crowd. He said will never forget the sound of thousands of peoplefalling silent when MLK Jr. took the stage.
Children from a local youth group also performed a dance and chant.
The overall tone of the event was a reflection on past struggles but focus on continuing to move forward as a united community.
The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Commission hosted the event. Organizers said the group usually does not start meetings until August to prepare for the busy month of March, but they were happy to be able to put together the local event for the important day in history.