MILWAUKEE -- The largest Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day event in Wisconsin was held Monday morning, January 16th in Milwaukee -- the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee's MLK Celebration Breakfast. Many reflected on the civil rights activist's message.
The morning began with the invigorating sounds of Black Arts Milwaukee. The crowd sang, and then there was a moment of reflection in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The 20th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Breakfast unified citizens in Milwaukee.
"We, I think, are here to celebrate an incredible leader`s life, and what better way to celebrate life than to emulate someone," Nick Turkal with Aurora Health Care said.
Many spoke about Dr. King's message being more relevant today than ever before.
"We pray today that good people will be endowed with courage, courage to stand up for what is right, to stand up knowing the time is always right to do what is right," Tchernavia Rocker, VP of human resources for Harley-Davidson said.
City of Milwaukee, Milwaukee County and state of Wisconsin leaders took part in this breakfast, including Governor Scott Walker, Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.
"Martin Luther King spent his life being incredibly effective because he reminded us again and again, don`t limit who can agree with you," Abele said.
Two Milwaukee organizations were recognized for their work at bettering Milwaukee -- presented the Healthy Citizen Award and the Diversity and Inclusion Award.
"They shared the Milwaukee vision of creating a healthier, stronger and safer Milwaukee -- where families of all incomes and backgrounds truly thrive. They are both part of a movement to make this vision a reality," Cecelia Gore, MLK Celebration Breakfast emcee said.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day became a federal holiday in 1986, and was later designated as a national day of service. Many people also spent the day Monday volunteering in their community.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s life and legacy were also celebrated Monday at the King Center on Vliet near 17th Street in Milwaukee -- where the annual celebration featured music, dance, spoken word and more.
It kicked off Monday morning with a "King Day" program and the group later left for the Milwaukee Bucks matinee.
The King Center director said MLK Day is all about bringing people together.
"Today's activities include young folks with old folks to merge them together, to let them know there is no fear between each other. Somewhere we have to start merging these groups so the young folks can learn from the old folks and the old folks can respect the young folks," Dee McCollum said.
The celebration ended with a youth DJ Party from 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. Monday night at the King Center.