BLOUNTSTOWN, Fla. (WMBB) — More than 50 Blountstown residents came together to participate in a march in memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the impact his work has had across the world. 

“I think wanting an opportunity, equal opportunity for everyone,” event organizer Albert Yon said. “He never said, ‘I just want an opportunity for my family. Or just for the black race.’ I know he wanted equal opportunity and to be recognized equally.”

For the past 31 years, Blountstown residents have marched to honor King.

Participants remember King’s role in many marches, most notably the March on Washington and when the civil rights leader led marchers from Selma to Birmingham, Alabama.

“One of the things a people fail to realize is when the marches of the sixties, they dressed up in ties and suits,” Yon said.  “And I had a question asked me why they dress up and debt where they knew they were going to jail, but they wanted to go in dignity.”

Monday, residents were joined by the Blountstown mayor, police department, and other community leaders.

But that was not the case for King as he marched through the south in the ’60s.

“When I think about my first event, we marched in this particular area [Clay Mary Park], and we marched up to a church and had a program,” Yon said. “There was no police escort, there was no permits, there were no sheriff involved, there was no police, there was no city government. And I just thank God it is grown into that area where it’s involved the whole community and not just the black community.”

Yon said there’s still plenty of work to be done to unify their community, but this event, and ones like it, help to continue break social barriers.