Students hold run in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Junior day is Monday, but the City of Phoenix has already started celebrations.

This morning there was 3K run through parts of downtown, the participants very young but very aware of what MLK stood for and the legacy he left behind.

A bright orange flame led the way through the dark streets of downtown Phoenix early Friday morning. 9 Edison Elementary School students, their coach, and a few members of the Phoenix Police Department followed.

"This run means a lot to me because we're actually celebrating it for him," said Ashley Arroyo.

"I just think it's about a man who stood up for what he believed in, I guess if he wouldn't have done anything we wouldnt be running right now," said Viviana Gonzalez.

This 5K run is very symbolic, full of meaning for the young athletes appropriately called the Flame of Hope Torch Run, in honor of Martin Luther King.

"He stopped segregation, that's a big thing, we just run for him. Thanks to him we are all here, we're not segregated, that's a good thing," said Kate Salazar.

The run has taken place every year now for 9 years. The runners depart from City Hall and run down Washington to the State Capitol, then to the U.S. Airways Center, and end their run at the downtown Hyatt where they take part in a breakfast honoring oustanding members of the community.

"Martin Luther king was a phenomenal man, and has a phenomenal history, by doing this even if it's just this day we give them opportunity to learn and hear a little bit more about him," said Val Churchill.

The students understand the racial tensions and unrest that have settled upon our nation lately, and can only hope every step they took this morning was one that will lead others to remember Dr. King's dream.
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