Martin Luther King Jr. event calls for violence to end in Belle - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Martin Luther King Jr. event calls for violence to end in Belle Glade

BELLE GLADE, FL (WFLX) - "Pursuing the dream with non-violence." That was the theme of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebrations in the Glades communities on Monday.

Ceremonies in Belle Glade honored Dr. King's life and legacy and, perhaps, took on a greater meaning in a place where the community has come together in recent weeks to call for an end to crime.

The day began with the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade, which made its way through the streets of Belle Glade Monday morning.

Among those in the parade was Tampa Bay Buccaneers football player James Lee, who grew up in Belle Glade.

Lee marched alone with hundreds of local children, all of whom were wearing 'stop the violence' t-shirts.

"This day will make a statement and that's why I'm hear -- to help make that statement," said Lee, who will remain in his hometown all week long. "Us as a whole, we need to just come together as one,"

Lee will act as 'principal for a day' at all of the Belle Glade schools he previously attended, with hopes of inspiring kids to stay away from crime.

Belle Glade city leaders believe that the message of non-violence is key in this community right now, but they also do not want recent crime to overshadow the message of Dr. King.

"It's very important that our kids remember his dream, remember his legacy," said Mary Evans, a city spokesperson. "Just once a year we have this but everyday we want them to remember the dream that he had."

Lee and others are speaking out about a recent string of crimes that have shook this community, including the murder of Alabama Georgia Grocery store owner Jimmy McMillan.

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