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Tallulah Celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Living the dream in 2014. The memory of Martin Luther King, Jr. lives on in Tallulah as hundreds in the community came together to celebrate his life.
 (Alanna Quillen, KTVE/KARD)
(Alanna Quillen, KTVE/KARD)
Keynote speaker Attorney Joy Jackson at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day ceremony in Tallulah. (Alanna Quillen, KTVE/KARD)
Keynote speaker Attorney Joy Jackson at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day ceremony in Tallulah. (Alanna Quillen, KTVE/KARD)
 (Alanna Quillen, KTVE/KARD)
(Alanna Quillen, KTVE/KARD)
 (Alanna Quillen, KTVE/KARD)
(Alanna Quillen, KTVE/KARD)
 (Alanna Quillen, KTVE/KARD)
(Alanna Quillen, KTVE/KARD)
Kaia South, a student at MLK Jr. Middle School in Monroe, sits atop a car for the parade. (Alanna Quillen, KTVE/KARD)
Kaia South, a student at MLK Jr. Middle School in Monroe, sits atop a car for the parade. (Alanna Quillen, KTVE/KARD)
 (Alanna Quillen, KTVE/KARD)
(Alanna Quillen, KTVE/KARD)
 (Alanna Quillen, KTVE/KARD)
(Alanna Quillen, KTVE/KARD)
 (Alanna Quillen, KTVE/KARD)
(Alanna Quillen, KTVE/KARD)
Keynote speaker Joy Jackson (4th from right) and a few of her 13 siblings and other relatives after the ceremony. (KTVE/KARD)
Keynote speaker Joy Jackson (4th from right) and a few of her 13 siblings and other relatives after the ceremony. (KTVE/KARD)
 (KTVE/KARD)
(KTVE/KARD)
TALLULAH, La. (KTVE/KARD) -- Living the dream in 2014. The memory of Martin Luther King, Jr. lives on in Tallulah as hundreds in the community came together to celebrate his life. 

Kaia South, a middle school student at Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School in Monroe, said she felt honored to sit atop a car as Miss MLK Jr. for the parade.

"We are celebrating how he has brought civil rights throughout this entire country and bringing us together as citizens instead of pulling us apart as enemies," said South.

Hundreds filled the streets of downtown for the annual parade, with dancing, music, and even a release of white turtle doves.

Grand marshals George Fox and his wife Ida remember Reverend King's legacy in the 1960s.

"Every time on TV we listened, every time he came wherever we were in this direction, we went to see him," said Ida. "We enjoy hearing his memory today and 

George Fox was a car salesman who traveled often to Memphis and stayed at the Lorraine motel every time he visited.

"The Lorraine motel would let you stay because you're a colored person, and we appreciated that," said Fox.

Fox said he was visiting the hotel just two days before the assassination.

"We stayed at the Lorraine motel, and the day he got shot, I was on my way to the motel the next day," he said, remember the confusion and people in the streets. "He got shot, right on the terrace, right where I lived . And I couldn't believe that would happen but it did."

After the parade, everyone packed inside the Tallulah/Madison Community center for a special ceremony.

"He may have gone to the mountain top, but for many of us, we are still in the valley," said speaker Tillie Smith. "For it takes the bad in the best of us, to see the good that's in us all, and there is a king in each one of you."

The ceremony ended with keynote speaker, Attorney Joy Jackson, sharing her pledge to the world.

"We need to look inwardly as community and see what we can do to bring ourselves and see what we can do to bring ourselves back up and surpass his time, and I don't think we've done that," she said.

To follow the morals of Reverend King and watch his legacy live on.

"He sacrificed so much for us," said Jackson. "And in the end, he gave his life for what he was doing."

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