MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Thousands gathered in Memphis on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The National Civil Rights Museum attracted visitors from across the country.
Memphis native Carolyn Hill was a ninth-grader when Dr. King was shot and killed.
“A dark cloud came over the whole city and it was just like something had dropped on you – a big bomb,” she said. “It was so devastating.”
Some visitors found it uplifting to see thousands of people from different parts of the country coming together outside the Lorraine Motel, the site of King’s murder.
“Especially in this day and time to see everybody come together and just unify his dream, it is just beautiful to me,” said Monica Vrazell.
Gary Dollar came to Memphis from Glen Carbon, Illinois. He was part of a cycling group traveling from Memphis to Mississippi to raise money for impoverished communities.
“This is about Dr. King and what he was doing and that’s what we’re trying to do is honor his memory by doing something in helping people,” he said.
Several labor organizations also attended the events honoring Dr. King. Former U.S. Secretary of Labor and current chairman of the Democratic National Committee Tom Perez said one of the best ways to honor Dr. King’s memory is to vote.
“It’s very simple,” said. “When people vote, they put their values into action and I think we stand a much better chance of putting Dr. King’s legacy into action.”