Hundreds gather to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Hundreds of residents gathered in South Bend's Century Center to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Sunday night. It was part of the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance's annual celebration.

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and South Bend Superintendent Carole Schmidt both spoke at the event about the impact Dr. King's had on the city.

"Our entire political system I'm a part of, our government I'm a part of, would be so much smaller if it were not for Dr. King," said Buttigieg.

With several ministers preaching and two choirs singing, the event atmosphere matched Dr. King's spirit.

"The men's choir that sung, the 'I Have a Dream' speech, every part of it I thought about how it connected to Dr. King's life," said South Bend resident Lawrence Giden.

Residents spent the afternoon celebrating a dream that, for the most part, is now a reality.

"I think he would be impressed b y what's going on," Giden said.

No doubt Dr. King would be impressed to see a world much different from the one he was living in.

"As a child in the '60s, I remember all of the things, the unrest in the country, many, many things that were going on," said South Bend resident Iris Thomas. "It was a time of change."

And Dr. King helped change that world into one where the same auditorium could be shared by people of so many different colors.

"I think he would want to continue his service to see it go even further," Thomas said. "We must, as a nation, a group of people, treat others as we would want to be treated."

The celebration of Dr. King's life will continue Monday at the Century Center. It all starts with a breakfast at 7:30 a.m., followed by several workshops for the public.

At 11:30 a.m., folks will march from the Century Center to the County/City Building and then back again.

In honor of Dr. King, admission to the Center for History and Studebaker Museum is free Monday.

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