Minnesota joins nation in honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Image 1 of 2

On this day, Americans pause to honor how Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. changed our nation - and how there are still ways to make it better for the future. 

Monday in the Twin Cities kicked off with the annual MLK Holiday Breakfast.

TV Commentator Don Lemon was the keynote speaker at the Armory in Minneapolis. There were also musical performances by the Sounds of Blackness, the Minnesota Orchestra and the Northside Youth Orchestra Bucket Drummers from the MacPhail Center For Music. 

Later in the morning there was a community celebration in the Powderhorn Park neighborhood where folks got together to watch performances and share a meal.

Meanwhile, in Brooklyn Park, volunteers gathered at Second Harvest Heartland to pack, sort and label meals for families in need. 

“We wanted to provide a great way for folks to come out and get their hands dirty a little bit and help pack food for their hungry neighbors,” said Heather Olson with Second Harvest Heartland. 

With room for about 500 volunteers, the spots filled up fast with Minnesotans anxious to help others this holiday. 

“It’s kind of a combination. It’s corporate groups that are coming out as a day of service, it’s families bringing their children, there’s a Girl Scout Troop here right now that’s come out to volunteer, but kids as young as six are able to volunteer today which is really exciting,” Olson said. 

In Washington, King's family members paid tribute, placing a green and white wreath next to his granite statue in West Potomac Park. 

Other crowds gathered for parades and marches in Phoenix, Los Angeles and Georgia.

“The authentic King reminded us that human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable," said Dr. Bernice King, daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence also paid their respects to Dr. King today, making a stop at his memorial in Washington and laying a wreath in his memory.