National Civil Rights Museum commemorates Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on 54th anniversary of his death

Published: Apr. 4, 2022 at 11:05 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Monday marked 54 years since the nation lost civil rights icon the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

King was killed at the Lorraine Motel after traveling to Memphis in support of sanitation workers.

The National Civil Rights Museum held its annual commemoration event to celebrate Dr. King’s life and work. Monday’s commemoration to Dr. King was filled with music and words of the work he did and the impact he had on this country.

“He never knew what hit him,” said civil rights leader the Reverend Jesse Jackson, “But in some ways, we didn’t come here to die, we came here to work. The work continues.”

Reverend Jackson traveled to Memphis for the commemoration events. He was with Dr. King when King was killed.

Iris and Memphis Symphony orchestras and the W. Crimm Singers Choir paid to tribute to King in song. While city leaders and brothers from King’s fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha shared words on his life’s work.

The crowd grew silent when the clock struck 6:01 p.m. and a wreath was then placed at the spot King lost his life from an assassin’s bullet.

DeAndre Kelly and April Elston came to the commemoration with friends and family. They said it is important to honor Dr. King and what he left for future generations.

”It’s something that we have to continue is being brought into the forefront,” said Kelly, “It’s history. It’s our history as a matter of fact.”

“Even my daughter, the one thing I asked her as she was leaving today I said ‘What’s the one thing you learned today?’ She said ‘always stand up for other people,’” said Elston. “That’s a 7-year-old, I think if we can impress that on our younger generations we’re all going to be in a better place.”

You can find other events held in honor of Dr. King here.

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