LITTLE ROCK, Ark — People came together on Monday to celebrate a hero, leader and fighter.
From parades to volunteer work, every year the third Monday of January is a celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.'s iconic life.
What he did for racial justice and equality got us to where we are today, but is the work finished?
At the annual Marade on Monday as people enjoyed the sounds from the bands and the excitement in the air, we stopped to chat with people about the significance of the day and, more importantly, asked the question, "where are we now?"
"I've seen a lot of progress, but I still see a lot of things that we need to do that have not been done," Wayne Merritt said.
Arkansans filled the streets on Monday to celebrate the life and legacy of a man who dreamed of a color-blind society.
"He not only talked the talk, but he walked the walk," Marsha Poole said.
A man who led the movement that paved the way for equality and freedom for all.
"He's made my life better in every way," Windel Roberts.
Aside from the throwing of the candy and the playing of the drums, this day means more than banks being closed and schools being out of class.
"Still, in society, I don't think people realize how much struggle we have really faced and how far we have had to go as a race," Merritt said.
For Arkansans Poole and Merritt, it's a day to look back on the pain and fight they grew up in.
"When I was a little girl segregation was really prevalent," Poole said.
"I actually started out in all-black schools. The first year that they made us go to Central I was in the 10th grade, so I saw a lot of changes," Merritt said.
Poole and Merritt both had a front-row seat while they watched the constrained life they once knew turn into an opportunity.
But, is it all fixed?
"It's not as bad as it used to be, but it has a lot of room for improvement," Poole said.
"It helped us come a long way, but we still got a long way to go," Merritt said.
More work that needs to be done for the younger generation, like twelve-year-old Windel Roberts, who was raised in a country where the King's dream is reality.
"Martin Luther King made a way for us to be free around everybody and not be separated from any other color," he said.
The young and the old united on the third Monday of January to look back at the past filled with injustice, knowing they stand taller thanks to one man, but recognizing the fight is never over.
"We all bleed the same blood underneath. We might have differences, we do have differences but underneath we’re all the same, in the eyes of God we’re all the same," Poole said.
Several people said if we don't come together all as one, we will never achieve what they believe this country needs more of: love and acceptance.