RICHMOND HILL, GA (WTOC) - For the first time Saturday, people in Richmond Hill celebrated the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with their own parade.
"It is so awesome to be a part of making history," said Mayor Russ Carpenter.
He, Grand Marshal Rep. Carl Gilliard, D- Garden City, and community organizations, like the NAACP, ushered in the parade with dozens of spectators lining Ford Avenue for the inaugural event.
"Very exciting," said Caroline Swan, who wore a shirt honoring the civil rights icon. "I got up about 6 this morning, so [I], my husband and my cousin could be here."
Down the street, the Albritton girls - Naiema, 9, Nyla, 7, Nai’Lani, 6, Nyomi, 3, Naya, 3 - danced with their dad, Wesley, as their 2-year-old brother watched. Albritton said he was happy their first parade honored someone who lived for others.
"He put his life in front of the people, and he sacrificed so much for us to be able to have a parade today," Albritton said. "I think it's great."
Both Swan and Albritton said the parade was an opportunity to recognize King's legacy and pass it on to a younger generation.
"Keep his hope alive and dream alive," Swan said. "For the younger children who don't know the life and what Dr. King spoke for or whatever, it means a lot to me, and the children who are coming up behind me, my grandchildren."
Albritton said, “One of my mottos for myself is I want to leave a legacy for my children. I don’t want to just raise them to be people in society, but I want to raise them to see someone who is positive, who is living for God, someone who is in the community and doing things. I don’t have to be Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to be an activist. I don’t have to be him on the front lines as long as I show them what it is to serve, what it is to be a part of a community, what it is to show healing, show love, show compassion, which is after one of the greatest principles that he taught.”