Belmont County, OH (WTRF)-The legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was honored in a big way.

It might not be Martin Luther King Jr. Day anymore, but dozens still gathered to honor him in this special way. The event was called “Real Justice, Real Freedom: A Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration”.

“I’m always excited to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King… not just his life, but his legacy.”

Andre Washington, keynote speaker

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is a name you’ve heard go down in the books.

You know Dr. King as the man who stood for freedom, equality, and justice for all people. Now decades later, his legacy remains…

“Martin Luther King was a wonderful Christian man who fought for the rights of the American people.”

John McVey, attendee

“I highly respected the man. I thought he was a hero for civil rights and for the rights of all people.”

Phyllis McVey, attendee

Thursday night dozens, like John and Phyllis McVey, are remembering Dr. King as the man he was: a hero. Dr. King’s impacted the lives of everyone in this room. Even Ohio’s NAACP Vice President Andre Washington, who was also tonight’s keynote speaker.

Washington went on about what’s happening in the House and Senate, voting rights, and giving back.

“I’m going to be talking about what we can do to give back because Dr. King’s holiday is not a day off, but it’s a day on to give back to the community, and I know personally, I give back to the community cuz service is the rent we pay and I pay my rent and I pay it on time everyday.”

Andre Washington, keynote speaker

Washington raised awareness in this room tonight, but above all he hopes everyone remembers Dr. King as the man he once was, and if Washington could, he would thank Dr. King himself for all he’s done.

“Well the first thing I would say is ‘thank you’. Thank you for the Doors you have opened up. Thank you for the things you have done and ask him what can we do to build on his legacy, on his dream for all of Americans.”

Andre Washington, keynote speaker