African Americans on Coast enjoy dual celebration - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

African Americans on Coast enjoy dual celebration

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BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

Hundreds of thousands of people poured into the nation's capital to experience President Barack Obama's inauguration, kicking off his second term.

At the same time the president was speaking, thousands were gathered at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration.

Many in attendance watched the inauguration online using their smart phones and tablets while enjoying the parade.

One woman who watched the festivities in Washington D.C. and the parade at the same time said, "It's wonderful to have the nation come together on two wonderful occasions. We're celebrating Dr. King who fought for black and white people and the inauguration of the president."

This national holiday set aside to honor the slain civil rights icon coming on the same day as the inauguration had special meaning for African Americans. The first black president took the oath of office on the same day Dr. King's life and accomplishments were celebrated.

Harrison County Supervisor William Martin was Grand Marshal of the parade.

"I feel great. What a day!" Martin said. "This is unreal starting from slavery, now we have a black president going into his second term. A lot of this had to do with Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights movement. It moved this country forward."

From the Washington Mall to the Coast Coliseum, this remarkable day was recognized as a moment in time for all Americans.

Thomas Howell, who traveled from Ellisville to the Coast, said, "Seeing the president get inaugurated to his second term. Then being here for Martin Luther King. He did a lot for not only blacks, but whites. Everybody in the United States."

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