Hundreds celebrate King Day at the Dome along with Presidential - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Hundreds celebrate King Day at the Dome along with Presidential candidates

The annual King Day at the Dome event at the South Carolina State House was held Monday, honoring the life and accomplishments of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

About 1,000 people gathered under chilly and sunny skies at South Carolina's State House to remember slain civil rights leader the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

"We celebrate the accomplishments we've made and it also means we're going back and seeing how far we've come," said Leroy Mosely of Columbia, "but we need to continue to celebrate that because we still have so far to go.

For the past 17 years, civil rights leaders have used the holiday to argue for the removal of the Confederate flag from the Statehouse, but this summer, the flag was taken down after nine black church members were killed in Charleston.

"It's really nice to be standing out here supporting our people and not having the Confederate Flag flying in our face which was a complete disrespect," said Mara Flemming of Columbia, "so I appreciate that it's down but where I feel we need to be, we're no where near that. I don't think we've made enough progress....we're still doing what we did in that 60's. We're marching, we're praying and we're trying to express that our black lives matter. I don't those things should still be prominent in 2016. I shouldn't have to tell somebody that my black life matters."

There was more security this year than most other years because four Democratic presidential candidates were in attendance.

The keynote speaker at a prayer breakfast briefly acknowledged the removal of the Confederate flag from the state's Capitol before talking at length about reducing the number of people in prisons.

Bishop James Walker opened the state NAACP's commemoration of the slain civil rights leader by thanking the group for putting pressure on state leaders since 2000 to remove the rebel banner from the Statehouse.

The NAACP then marched five blocks to the State House with candidates Martin O'Malley and Bernie Sanders up front.

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