Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr.

Eyewitness News is in Memphis
April 4, 2008 8:11:06 PM PDT
Thousands of people remembered a somber day in American history Friday.
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    It was 40 years ago that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis and was murdered by an assassin's bullet.

    On Friday, hundreds visited that now infamous spot and paid tribute to the civil rights leader.

    Eyewitness News reporter Jeff Pegues has a report from Memphis.

    There was a moment of silence in Memphis at 6:01 p.m. Several hundred people paused to remember that moment on April 4, 1968, when Dr. King was murdered on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel.

    "We come today, the generations that were too young or unborn, to stand with those who were with Dr. King, to say this movement has continuity," the Reverend Al Sharpton said.

    On this day, Dr. King's movement was honored in several ways. In Memphis, there were rallies and marches.

    Thousands of people from across the country filled the streets.

    Just 39-years-old when he died, Dr. King helped change the nation. His stirring words and his leadership sparked a civil rights movement that, through non-violent protest, sought equality for all citizens.

    ''Twenty-four hours on a bus to get here," said Sunset Park, Brooklyn, resident Sam Saerra, who marched today. "It's very important to all of us."

    Shaneen Green came from Manhattan.

    "Never in my life would I imagine I would be here to see such a celebration for such a great man," Green said.

    They were two people in a crowd of hundreds, who wanted to remember a civil rights icon's death by celebrating his life.

    "This was not about just an assassination," Sharpton said. "It's about a resurrection, as long as people all over the world seek freedom and justice and equality and fairness. Whether they're black, white, latino or asian, Martin Luther King still lives."

    Reverend Sharpton called the even a recommitment march. The speakers asked the crowd to follow Martin Luther King's example.