NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- There are several events across the area on Monday to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
One of the largest celebrations for MLK in New York City is taking place at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on Monday.
Organizers said it was a chance to reflect, recharge and support one another as people honor the Civil Rights icon across the nation on what would have been his 95th birthday.
People lined up in the cold before 8 a.m. Monday morning to secure tickets. This year's theme is "Defending Democracy."
The keynote speaker this year is Reginald Dwayne Betts -- a poet, lawyer and found and CEO of Freedom Reads, which is an organization aimed at getting more books into prisons.
The celebration will also include musical performances and a speech from Mayor Eric Adams.
One mother-daughter duo said they attend the event every year.
"Keeping the message alive, King said that we'll move and walk hand in hand...one people...I think we need that more than ever in this time," Damali Carrington said.
The event at BAM was one of many celebrations happening throughout the city.
A parade was held in Nassau County for the 31st year -- making it the oldest parade celebrating King on Long Island. The Village of Hempstead is proud of the tradition as high school students marched and danced in the cold on Monday.
Hundreds participated and lined the streets as Hempstead honored Dr. Emil Naclerio -- the surgeon that saved Dr. King after he was stabbed in an attempted assassination in Harlem in 1958.
Dr. Naclerio's son, Ron, still has the thank you letter that Dr. King sent his family.
There was also a celebration held inside the student center at Hofstra, which was hosted by Mayor Waylyn Hobbs.
Meanwhile in Harlem, students at Manhattan Country School held an annual social justice march with a theme this year of "Justice Delayed is Justice Denied."
And volunteers at the Washington Heights Y took part in a day of service by packing hygiene kits and stocking a community fridge.
On Monday night, the Empire State Building will shine in red, black and green in honor of Dr. King.
In Brooklyn over the weekend, the group called Seeds in the Middle marked its 14th annual weekend of community service. Young students volunteered by putting together healthy lunches for the meal in Brownsville.
Also over the weekend, two retired NYPD officers were honored for stopping a woman from trying to set King's birthplace on fire.
Kenny and Axel Dodson were visiting the home in Atlanta when they noticed the woman and jumped into action.
King was born 95 years ago on this day in Atlanta.
His daughter, Bernice King, posted on social media a picture of her and her mother at Dr. King's funeral.
It said in part, "He wanted corrective measures to eradicate racism, not the delusion that it doesn't exist."