January 16-- Led by the color guard from the Thunderbolt Junior R.O.T.C Regiment, Vidalia's second annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Parade included nearly 100 entries and retired Army Captain Carlos Ward, Senior R.O.T.C. instructor, says it was an honor to lead the parade, "It means a lot and the biggest thing I try to express to the kids is how much the community anticpates seeing them in parades and they make the community proud."
The "Community Men in Action" organization sponsors the parade and one of its founders, Greg Johnson, says "It's so important just to recognize the achievements of Dr. Martin Luther King and all the people who fought for civil rights for all people and all mankind. We want to make sure we do that in rememberance of their efforts and their lives and the blood they shed so we can continue on the great effort of freedom for all."
The President of the Toombs County NAACP, Tracey Johnson, says the observance is an important reminder of work to be done, "It's very important that we continue to do this and remind people where we have come from and continue to work on the things we need to work on. We need everybody to get in this boat and help us navigate America to be the country that it should be to each and every one of us."
Greg Johnson also thanked the Vidalia business community for supporting the parade, "This our second year and it's been really, really great thanks to a lot of merchants around town who have supported us. I've been around this community a long time. It's a caring and supportive community and we want to thank them for everything they've done for us."