More than 800 participate in CARE Rockbridge MLK Community Parade

The theme was 'We March for Love'

LEXINGTON, Va.- – The nation is honoring the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

A wreath-laying ceremony with his son was held at his monument in Washington D.C. while his daughter spoke during a service at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. 

More than 800 people came out for a local initiative working to honor the values of the civil rights leader. The number of participants increased from about 700 in 2017. 

Reginald Early with Rockbridge Community Anti-Racism Education Initiative (CARE) says the theme for this parade is Marching For Love, which includes peace, unity, freedom and equality.

"We want to show that Lexington is a city where people appreciate each other. Appreciate all kinds of of people. Straight, gay, black or white, Latino, young, old, rich, poor, old, educated, uneducated. It's about inclusivity," said Early. 

The Second Annual CARE Rockbridge MLK Community Parade is also about continuing the dream of King. 

"It's about his life that he lived, his life that he sacrificed and the legacy that he left," said Early. 

For Pastor Lyndon Sayers they're stronger together to get their message across. 

"I think maybe on our own we wondered what we can do but when you look around and see so many people willing to get out in the cold on MLK Monday, that gives me a lot of hope," said Sayers, pastor of Good Shepherd Evangelical Lutheran Church. 

Safety was a big concern at the parade. But there was a very visible police presence.

Tensions were high last year when the Lee-Jackson parade and the MLK parade were held on the same day. 

"And this year it's on the MLK Monday itself and it's a few days removed from other parades so I don't think we have those same concerns today," said Sayers. 

CARE will have more events during the year to keep promoting unity.