WILMINGTON -- The New Hanover County NAACP joined other organizations for a "Souls to the Polls" march on Sunday as county voters were able to vote early on a Sunday for the first time in 12 years.

The event commemorates the 51st anniversary of Bloody Sunday, when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led a march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Alabama for the right to vote. 

Organizers say it's important to recognize the historic moments that gave us the rights we have today. 

"Symbolozing what happened 51 years ago was a togetherness on that bridge that allowed us to have the voting rights in August of 1965. So together, we march to let the citizens of this community know there's strength in numbers and we need to all utilize that right to vote," said NHC NAACP President Deborah Maxwell. 

Souls to the Polls marches took place in 37 counties across the state.