MLK Day in Eugene: 'Honoring our past, vigilant about where we're going'

MLK Day in Eugene: 'Honoring our past, vigilant about where we're going'

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EUGENE, Ore. - An estimated 300 people marched from Autzen Stadium to the Shedd Institute in downtown Eugene on Monday to honor the memory of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

But it wasn't just about the rights of African Americans: for the first time, the NAACP and the League of United Latin American Citizens joined together to rally marchers.

"Many of the community face the same issues that we were facing 30, 40, 50 years ago," Juan Carlos Valle said. "The Latino community, for example, is still facing issues that go back 50 to 60 years ago."

The march assembled a crowd so big that it was marching on top of the bridge and under the bridge at the same time.

"It shows that Eugene is a really caring community, and that we are still honoring our past but being vigilant about where we're going and that we're really trying to be active and engaged," said Eric Richardson with the Eugene NAACP

One high-profile point of concern for some marchers: a sign held up over Interstate 5 last year that carried a message many considered racist.

"It is really sad to see it come out in people still and have so many racist sympathies, but it's encouraging to see so many people come out to an event like this and stand up against it," said Ian McTeague, a local student.