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Caltrain ‘Freedom Train’ Rolls From SJ To SF To Honor MLK Jr.

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Passengers board the Freedom Train in San Jose.

Passengers board the Freedom Train in San Jose.

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — After singing a rendition of “We Shall Overcome” at Caltrain’s San Mateo station, hundreds of Bay Area residents of all ages celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Monday by boarding the 2012 “Freedom Train.”

The specially chartered train commemorated King’s march from Selma, Ala., to the state’s capital, Montgomery, in 1965.

The Freedom Train started its journey at San Jose’s Diridon Station and made stops in Sunnyvale, Palo Alto and San Mateo, picking up those who wanted to honor King’s legacy by taking the train to San Francisco, where most planned to join a march to Yerba Buena Gardens.

In its 27th year it’s the longest running and last Freedom Train in the U.S.

Organizer Bonita Carter Cox talked about the train’s staying power.

“The Freedom Train got started here because Coretta Scott-King knew a woman who lived in San Jose and started our association. I think that’s why we keep the train going,” Cox said.

Juanita Dumas came all the way from El Sobrante said it’s a day to remember all the progress the Civil Right’s Movement made.

It’s a big difference when my father was coming up in the south and not being able to have the facilities, but now we have that.
Gospel songs like This Little Light of Mine, were sung and passages from Dr. King’s speeches were read on the 50-mile ride to San Francisco.

Faye McNair-Knox, whose organization One East Palo Alto was chosen by San Mateo County officials as the 2012 Martin Luther King Day Honorary Organization, said the best way to honor King is to continue to work toward the values he upheld.

KCBS’ Mike Colgan Reports:

“If we learned anything from Martin Luther King, it’s that we must press on,” McNair-Knox said.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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