On the eve of Barack Obama's historic inauguration, people across the country are paying tribute to the man some say made it possible for him to become our nation's first black president. Here in the Grand Valley and emotional and lively celebration took place at Mesa State College.
Music, speeches, proclamations, and even stepping -- Monday, hundreds packed the Experimental Theater at Mesa State College to pay tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
"I thought there was a beautiful turnout," said Stacey Lyons, who performed during the event. "And the participation was just phenomenal."
Lyons says even 41 years after Dr. King's assassination, the profound impact he had still resonates today.
"I hope we can remember where we've come from and how far we've come," said Lyons.
During the ceremony, Mayor Gregg Palmer read a proclamation in honor of Martin Luther King Day. Speakers quoted Dr. King and read his "I Have a Dream" speech, just as he delivered it on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963.
Almost 46 years later, Barack Obama spoke on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and Tuesday will move to the Capitol to be sworn in as our nation's 44th President.
Those who came to the celebration say Dr. King's words will be on their minds as they watch the inauguration.
"I never thought this day would come in my lifetime," said Jelani Myers, who attended the ceremony. "It's really happened."
They say they hope his message will continue to be on the minds of all Americans well beyond Obama's presidency.
"I hope that we just don't stop in our tracks," said Lyons. "That we continue."