MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Hundreds gathered at the National Civil Rights Museum to remember Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who was killed on this day, 49 years ago.
Jesse Jones said he remembers that day vividly.
"It was a lot hurt, a lot of pain," said Jones.
Jones was 14-years-old at the time and his father, T.O. Jones, was one of the leaders of the sanitation strike.
"It was a lot of anger too of course because they had killed him and those of us in the strike from day one knew of the possibilities of people being hurt or being killed," said Jones.
AFSCME President Lee Saunders said events like this re-energizes him.
"It`s sad on one hand because we lost a true leader, but on other the hand, he understood the importance of linking arms. He understood the importance of bringing people together on civil rights, human rights, economic rights and labor rights," said Saunders.
That`s exactly what today was all about -- celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. King and moving forward together as a country.
Saunders tells me he wants to make this year special before we mark 50 years since King was assassinated.
"What we would like to do is to plan different kinds of events starting in February when the two workers were killed in the sanitation," said Saunders. "And not just being a commemoration for the 50 years, but also being a call to action within our own communities."
Reverend Dr. Gwendolyn Boyd, the keynote speaker at Tuesday's event, said it`s vital Dr. King`s story is told for generations to come.
"We need to make sure that everybody embraces and acknowledges his contributions not only to the United States but to the World."
Hundreds of events will take place through the year. If you like to keep up with all the events, click here.