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MLK50: A Week of Commemoration Begins

Photograph by Rhonda Vanover

More than 100,000 people are expected to gather in Memphis this week for the 50th Anniversary commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination.



Reverend Christopher Eggleton with the Order of Preachers traveled from Italy to take part in Wednesday's day of remembrance at the National Civil Rights Museum. He said that King's fight for peace and equality continues to affect people from all religious backgrounds.

Credit Photograph by Angela Kim
Rev. Christopher Eggleton, Order of Preachers, leaves a meeting for the MLK50 commemoration.

  “That has instilled in people hope,” Eggleton says. “Buddhist people, who hear this message, or Muslim or whoever. Whatever religion, or whatever. This truth is basic to all humankind.”


On Sunday, Sylvia Barnett from Milwaukee paid her respects at the Lorraine Motel, a place she has visited five times. On this trip, she brought the grandchildren.

"First reaction. The first time I came, I wept.” Barnett recalls. “And, every time I come, I still feel a passion within my being of the sadness. [King] wanted to help America for not just black people, but all people. And, he gave his life for that .”

Even for seven-year-old Malcolm Davis, Jr., whose family came from King's hometown of Atlanta, seeing the place where Dr. King died gave his early lessons in civil rights history a deeper sense of place.

“The man who shot him, he thought if he killed Martin Luther King that he could kill the dream, but the dream still goes through this building.” Davis Jr. says.

The commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination is a week-long event. Upcoming events to include a conference at Mason Temple where King delivered his "Mountaintop" speech.