DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – Across the country today, people paused to remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior.

Thousands marched in parades or pitched in to serve others, as a way to honor the civil rights hero.

In downtown Dallas, hundreds gathered to watch the annual Elite News parade down the street that bears King’s name.

A sunny, unseasonably warm Monday morning welcomed a boulevard of boys and girls, their parents, and grandparents — all with eyes toward the parade that pays homage to the man known for paving the road toward equal treatment in the nation that by-passed the ideal for generations.

Long time Dallas educator and activist Trini Garza would be one of many lining Dallas’ Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard today, as a statement of celebrating and remembering the work and life of America’s drum major for justice.

“He set the trend on civil rights, and for the betterment of our community,” said Garza.

The King Holiday parade is part of a network of traditional public festivals and commemorations throughout the country, all wrapped around holding up and living up to King’s call for focus on character over color.

“I think it’s important to celebrate this holiday, because Dr. King went through a lot of struggles to help bring us to where we are today,” said DeSoto resident, Monica Cato.

“Dr. King came a long way, and he passed the torch on to future generations. We are here to teach our children,” said Dallas resident Robert Jenkins.

With Bands and Boy Scouts, floats and a festive environment, some say just one thing was missing from this King celebration.

“By far I feel there should be so much more diversity, wonderful to see people come out, but it should be more diverse,” said Dallas resident Leslie Silvan.

This year’s parade included more than 100 entrants and lasted more than three hours long.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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