Crowd marches from Mason Temple to Lorraine Hotel
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., thousands of people all over the world spent the day paying tribute to the civil rights icon.
Saturday marks his assassination anniversary.
A march through the streets of downtown kicked off the tributes here in Memphis.
The electric crowd started marching at Mason Temple where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his iconic ‘I’ve Been to the Mountaintop’ speech 47 years ago.
“As a young boy, I was very cognizant of what was being said. Sitting there with my father I could see the tears in his eyes as well as my aunt. So many people had tears in their eyes. The speech just penetrated your spirit,” said Bishop William Wright.
But tragically that speech was Dr. King`s last, just a day later, “WLOK Came over the radio and said Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. It was a moment of unbelief. By the time we got to the Memphis-Arkansas Bridge. We could see the smoke coming up,” recalled Wright.
Many marching remember that chaotic night.
“They put on a curfew for Memphis at that time. Everyone had to be home,” said Lillie Holmes.
She and Margaret Martin couldn’t march with everyone else Saturday morning, so they followed behind in a golf cart. But they were still in this crowd.
“He was a peaceful man. We want our young people to know his dream. We really want to keep that dream alive,” said Martin.
“It’s a really big deal we can do this now. Way back when we used to not be able to walk as black and white or Asian or whatever. We can finally be able to walk, it’s peaceful,” said 17-year-old Dionna Warren.
“That spirit, this singing, the comfort. Walking with all these people and being surrounded by people walking towards the same goal all of humanity should be walking towards,” said 17-year-old Hayley Posner.
Posner and her mom drove from Chicago to spend their Passover in Memphis.
“It’s a beautiful feeling, community, acceptance, joy. It’s making cry,” said Debbie Posner.
The marchers made their way to the Lorraine Hotel, just steps from where Dr. King’s life was stolen by an assassin`s bullet.
King`s voice billowed out on the courtyard, and music sweetly played underneath.
A symphony, just like the one Dr. King spoke so much about.