(KTIV) - He was one of the most visible leaders of the civil rights movement. He organized peaceful protests in hopes of creating equal rights for all.
Every year the nation devotes a day to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but for some people, this year the day holds even more meaning. It's a day for the nation to reflect, but also a day to take action.
Observed on the third Monday of every January, Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrates the life and legacy of the civil rights leader and activist.
Every year this day holds importance, but some believe this year it means even more.
"It's a special day for us, you know even more so now that when we see what we're going through in this country especially. Dr. King's words, they resonate so much more because he said 'can we love each other? Can we come together and be one?" said Ike Rayford, president of Sioux City's NAACP Chapter.
Monique Scarlett, Founder of Unity in the Community, which is a community partnership with local law enforcement that promotes unity, peace, hope, love, and prayer, also agrees that this year MLK Day holds more significance.
"And now we go from 1964, and now we're in 2021, and we still are demanding equality and inclusiveness." said Scarlett.
The day is also referred to as "MLK Day of Service," with the slogan “A Day On, Not a Day Off”.
It encourages all Americans to find ways to improve their communtiy through volunteering, while still remembering the dream that Dr. Luther King Jr. envisioned.
"Recognize the man, the movement, and the message. And making sure that we are living and passing that down through generations." said Scarlett.
"His 'I Have A Dream' speech is still one of the most prolific speeches given. And that speech still speaks today, because the dream has not completely come to fruition. What we would want is to see that dream become a reality," said Rayford.
Even though this day celebrates Martin Luther King Jr.'s message, it's important to try to uphold it and live it every single day.