SAN JOSE (KCBS) — Alicia lined up early in San Jose for tickets to ride the annual Freedom Train that celebrates the Dr. Martin Luther King Junior’s legacy. It was her first time riding the train.

“I’ve been wanting to do it for many years. A friend of mine has been doing it for years with their daughters.”

Usually Alicia is working on this day, but this year she said she decided to take the holiday off to show her daughter what it’s all about so she could experience it with her family.

Organizer and co-founder, Dan Hoffman, said it’s important that the tradition continues as racism is still with us.

“A lot of people in this country still haven’t gotten over the innate feeling of racism. It infects so many people. It’s like a virus that won’t go away,” Hoffman said.

Over a thousand people take the train, which makes stops in Sunnyvale, Palo Alto and San Mateo.

Then in San Francisco well over a thousand marched and gathered at Yerba Buena Gardens to pay tribute to the civil-rights leader who was slain in 1968.

“We Shall Overcome” a 1960s civil-rights protest song, filled the air along with a reading from Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

Families of all races and ethnicities came together to be inspired by King’s message from over 45 years ago that remains relevant today.

One teacher from San Francisco’s St. Ignatius High School said he hopes to pass on some of King’s teachings to his students, especially the fact that he stood up for what he believes in.

The annual march included film screenings, an art gallery exhibit and music.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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