TODAY   |  July 21, 2013

Thousands rally for Trayvon Martin

Americans in 101 cities across the country turned out Saturday at “Justice for Trayvon” vigils in a show of solidarity with the slain teen’s family. NBC’s Michelle Franzen reports.

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>>> people are vowing to keep up the fight in honor of trayvon martin across the country. thousands came out to remember martin and ask the federal government to step in and look into the circumstances surrounding martin 's death. michelle franzen has more.

>> this is about justice.

>> turning outrage into a call for change.

>> i am trayvon. trayvon martin .

>> trayvon martin .

>> reporter: thousands turned out in a show of solidarity at justice for trayvon vigils coast to coast . reverend sharpton organized rallies in 101 cities with several thousand turning out in new york, including the star power of beyonce and jay-z, who were there to support trayvon martin 's mother.

>> not only do i vow to you to do what i can for trayvon martin , i promise you i'm going to work hard for your children as well.

>> the common theme being a widespread call for the justice department to file federal civil rights charges against george zimmerman. trayvon martin 's father, in miami, says it's time to turn the anger and anguish into action.

>> one of my missions is to make sure that we advocate against violence.

>> an echo of the president's words after he unexpectedly spoke out on the verdict and likened himself to trayvon martin .

>> trayvon martin could have been me 35 years ago.

>> reporter: those words hit home this weekend.

>> when he stands up and says, i -- i was trayvon martin 35 years ago, it resonates. that, you can't weep under the rug.

>> reporter: for "today," michelle franzen , nbc