On Monday the Unity Rally in Waikiki remembered Martin Luther King Jr.’s visit to the islands and his legacy.
Music, food and family marked the annual Unity Rally at Kapolani Park, where hundreds got together to honor King.
“This note was a promise that all men, yes black as well as white, would be guaranteed the unalienable right of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” said rally participant Teddy Wells.
Wells knows the “I Have a Dream” speech by heart and he says he is happy to see King's words be a reality in Hawaii.
"The beauty of Hawaii is this is an example of the true melting of America -- the America we have today. Barack Obama was born on these islands,” said Wells.
The Unity Rally marks an important year of King's history in Hawaii. Fifty years ago Dr. King held a rally at Andrews Amphitheatre at the University of Hawaii.
“He came there for the civil rights and the passage of the civil rights acts, which had not passed yet,” said Juliet Begley, of the Martin Luther King Coalition.
Eventually the civil rights law passed, and this celebration held every year is to remember those struggles and how far the nation has come.
“Just being able to fight for what he fought for – it just means a lot for us coming together in this community, and everyone coming out marching and keeping his legacy alive,” said participant Alehandra Marshall.
And keeping his legacy alive is why Marshall brings her young son to the Unity Rally every year. Her goal is to instill those dreams into the younger generations.
“My family came out so they can show everybody the spirit – they can do anything as long as they believe in it,” said 8-year-old Machai Hightower.