BUFFALO, N.Y. - As the sun set on Western New York Wednesday evening, people are marking the 50-year anniversary of the March on Washington, by gathering together and talking about the message of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Several local civil rights groups, organized the gathering to commemorate the largest protest of its kind, geared to fighting for civil rights -- the March on Washington on Aug. 28, 1963.
The date marks a turning point that changed the life of millions of people.
Like, Samuel A. Herbert, a community activist who heard in person, Dr. King, triumphantly deliver his "I Have A Dream" speech.
"I'm able to take out the goodness of the speech and the goodness of today," Herbert said.
Herbert was 14-years-old at the time and says he and his father drove from New York City to Washington, D.C. Herbert admired the diversity he saw.
"From the crowd it was loud, that was the only thing I picked up, aside from the police and the dogs, it was loud, and it was the first time, that I seen so many whites and blacks together," he said.
Grace Tate, of the Buffalo Urban League was 11-years-old then, and she watched the speech in a Buffalo school that was segregated. At the time, she had been concerned about the violence in the south.
"I was very fearful, of those situations, even though we didn't experience that here, so when we saw this preacher this strong man, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. being so outspoken, but also being so peaceful and so godly, I think it evoked a lot of emotion in me," Tate said.
Tate feels like the speech inspired her to do what she does today.
"I always felt a need to do some type of community service as I said so yes, it affected me by me knowing that I had to continue to fight for the rights of everyone who we felt was not being treated fairly," she said.
"We've made a tremendous amount of positive progress as a race and as a nation," said Herbert.
But, there are still major issues impacting communities, like education, health care and increasing the minimum wage.
"So to the extent today that we still struggle with economic equality and the wealth gap between African Americans and others in our society, these issues really do continue to resonate," said Victoria Wolcott, a history professor at UB.
These are issues Herbert and Tate believe Dr. King would be fighting for today.
50 years after the first March on Washington, Western New York honors Dr. King for the legacy he left behind. Such as, a park named after him on Buffalo's east side, to the archiving of pictures and a speech he made at UB in 1967.
A candlelight vigil marking the 50th Year Anniversary will be held at MLK Park at 8 p.m. Wednesday.