SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -

The theme of the MLK Jr. celebration this year was Lift Every Voice, and between cheering and singing, participants did just that.

After a series of listening to and learning songs, people of all ages walked from De La Guerra Plaza to the Arlington, honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

For some, attending the events was a tradition, and for others, a very personal and emotional reflection.

"My wife and I got up to shake hands with Dr. King," Dick Leuba recalled, who's wife was good friends with Coretta King.  "We told him that we knew his wife because we went to college with Coretta.  It hit me very hard in '68.  I remember when it happened, yes.  Some of the people I were with were not sympathetic with Dr. King's movement and that even hit me worse."

"World Dance Humanity is all about the principles that Doctor King Stood for.  He said that to be alive, to really be alive is to dedicate yourself beyond yourself," said Janet Reineck of Santa Barbara.

Chellette Velasquez walked with her children to teach them more about Dr. King's vision. "It's freedom for everyone, and equality for everyone," she said.  "I want to teach my kids that while they're young so that as they grow up they remember that."