MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A moment of silence was held while bells tolled 39 times across the world at 6:01 p.m. to commemorate 39 years of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s life at the time he was assassinated here in Memphis.
"Him losing his life in Memphis is still heartbreaking even 50 years later," Charity Marshall said.
Marshall traveled from Jackson, TN and tells us it's important for her to show gratitude for all that Dr. King fought for.
"It's a feeling of empowerment. It overwhelmed the crowd. It's great to see this many people show up and express gratitude to Dr. King and what he stood for," she said.
Large crowds gathered around The National Civil Rights Museum all day Wednesday where events from the changing of the wreath to remembrances of Dr. King were held.
The bells tolled across the city two minutes later like the one at Rhodes College.
"I think it's really an honor to be here and see everybody commemorate him and remember him for what he believed in. He tried to raise the poverty level and the income for the folks here in Memphis," resident Judy Walters said.
But for many, today's commemoration is the start to more action.
"We can't spend so much time and so much energy investing in parades, banquets and billboards and doing anything to help eradicate poverty or at least make it less of a problem," Earl Fisher said.
Walters just moved to Memphis from Buffalo, NY and wants to join that fight to end poverty.
"I keep wondering what can I do more of? I grew up poor, but I make a good living now. I would like to think that we should all try to find a way to help those that don't have as much as we do. I think that's what Dr. King tried to do," she said.