The 25th annual Freedom Train rolled from San Jose into San Francisco this morning filled with passengers celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day on the eve of President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration.
Full of hope and song, packed Caltrain cars carried hundreds of riders answering Martin Luther King Jr. trivia and singing old songs of freedom, peace and love.
The Freedom Train is a chartered event on Caltrain trains and is hosted by the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Association of Santa Clara Valley, an interfaith organization created in 1983 with the goal of social justice and civil rights, president Marquita Byrd said.
"People are excited; people are hopeful," Byrd said. "And they're glad to be able to see this day and for their children to be able to see this historic moment."
Mountain View resident Carol Somersille rode the train with her 10-year-old son Carl Sibley.
"This is important for me to show my children," Somersille said.
Carl stood with other children on the train to read King's "I Have a Dream" speech.
"It's fun to sing songs and stuff, and it's also pretty cool that it's the day before the inauguration," he said.
The children's reading of the famous speech ended with all the train car's riders reciting in unison, "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!"
This morning's train ride finished in San Francisco, where crowds gathered onto buses to Civic Center Plaza for further celebration.