DENVER (CBS4) – Colorado and the nation remembered Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Monday.

Between 30,000 and 35,000 people took part in Denver’s annual “Marade” from City Park to downtown.

“Today, we honor one of the great leaders in our nation’s history — a leader who inspired and galvanized people of all races in pursuit of a common goal. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. showed us that the movement for civil rights was not simply a movement of one particular ethnicity or religion, but an American movement,” Denver Mayor Michael Hancock said in a statement.

“This day is a time to honor our past and our future, and to renew our commitment to justice, peace and service to the community. We thank the great Dr. King for challenging our nation to summon the courage to face itself and dare to dream of a better tomorrow,” Hancock said.

“We are strong not despite of our diversity but because of our diversity,” Sen. Mark Udall told the crowd.

In the massive crowd at City Park gathered by the statue of Martin Luther King was a group of more than three dozen “Pathfinders” with the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. They followed the path of the Marade, but their footsteps did more than take them along the Marade route — they were steps to ensure a great leader and his words won’t be forgotten.

“Pathfinders is sort of like Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts,” a Marade participant said.

PHOTO GALLERY: 2012 Marade

While young and old alike walked in the Marade, it will be up to the youngest to carry on the message, the history and the stories into the future and pass all of that on just as it was passed on to them.

“Without Martin Luther King we would still have segregation in our country,” A Pathfinder member said. “We’re marching to spread the word and set an example … if nobody knows about it then it’s kind of hard to pass it along.”

The Pathfinders were from chapters in both Colorado Springs and Denver. The youngest was just a toddler and the oldest were in their teens.

Gov. John Hickenlooper, Sen. Michael Bennet and Rep. Ed Perlmutter also participated in the Marade.


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