Hundreds march in MLK Day event in Macon
As an active duty member of the Air Force, Will Cann has lived all over the country and no matter where he has been on Martin Luther King Day, he takes his children to an event remembering the civil rights icon.
This year he is stationed at Robins Air Force Base and brought his son, Wystan, to the annual march in Macon, where hundreds of people participated. They started at four different community centers, each representing a different point on the compass, and converged at the Macon-Bibb Government Center on Popular Street.
Cann and Wystan were among a group of over 100 who marched from Booker T. Washington Community Center.
"This is a time to reflect and teach my son a lesson," Cann said.
Asked what that lesson was, he let his son answer.
"Love and truth and freedom," Wystan said. "We are not different from other people, no matter what your skin color is."
Melvin C. Fussell, one of the organizers, said he was glad to see a large crowd come out even on a cold day.
"This is a chance for those that still believe in Martin Luther King and also let people know that he was instrumental in not only for one race but for all races to be free," said Fussell.
The march is in its 12th year. After some brief comments at the Government Center, many in the crowd went to a program at Steward Chapel AME church. A breakfast also held at St. Peter Claver Catholic Church prior to the march.
Macon-Bibb Mayor Robert Reichert spoke to the marchers after they arrived at the Government Center.
"Your presence here is evidence of our continued resolution to build a more beloved community wherever everybody is treated with respect and inclusiveness and we make opportunity available for everybody," Reichert said.
Among those in the crowd was Johnnie Roberts, originally from Peoria, Illinois and a resident of Macon for about two months, so it was his first time attending the march.
"This is phenomenal," he said. "I love it. I didn’t even know there was this many people in Macon."