D.C. commemorates Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

WASHINGTON (WJLA) - On this National Day of Service, the Men's Choir from People's Community Baptist Church began Monday's wreath laying ceremony on the grounds of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. Gospel music warmed the hearts of those in attendance.

Washington D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray also took part in the annual ceremony, while across the river at the ARC Cultural Center, Tom Brown and his training grounds for youth and ex-offenders program launched their 13th annual MLK Day show, full of singers, poets, and dancers.

"He was a great man of God and he followed his dream," said dancer Tatiana Elliott.

"We can just forget about economic differences, our social differences...and just love each other for those couple of hours," said organizer Tom Brown.

After the wreath laying, Mayor Gray then headed to Coolidge High School in Northwest. Led by the group City Year Washington, hundreds of volunteers of all ages signed up to roll up their sleeves and spruce up some of the city's most needy schools. Even U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan came ready in a sweatshirt and tennis shoes.

Some of the service projects around the city included going to different schools, painting murals and doing construction in classrooms. At Coolidge, volunteers added pictures and quotes from some historic figures like MLK, Nelson Mandela and President Barack Obama.

Meanwhile, along Martin Luther King Avenue in Southeast, organizers launched a Peace Walk in his honor.

With a mayoral primary coming up, politicians were everywhere: Jack Evans and Andy Shallal in Southeast; Vincent Orange and Muriel Bowers in Northwest.