The National Civil Rights Museum commemorates Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the 54th anniversary of his death

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) – Monday marked 54 years since the nation lost civil rights icon Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

King was killed at the Lorraine Motel after traveling to Memphis to support sanitation workers.

The National Civil Rights Museum held its annual memorial event to celebrate the life and work of Dr. King. Monday’s memorial to Dr King was filled with music and words about the work he did and the impact he had on this country.

“He never knew what hit him,” said civil rights leader Reverend Jesse Jackson, “But somehow we didn’t come here to die, we came here to work. The work continues.”

Reverend Jackson traveled to Memphis for the commemoration events. He was with Dr. King when King was killed.

The Iris and Memphis Symphony Orchestras and the W. Crimm Singers Choir paid tribute to King in song. As city leaders and fraternity brothers of King, Alpha Phi Alpha shared words about his life’s work.

The crowd fell silent when the clock struck 6:01 p.m. and a wreath was then laid at the spot where King lost his life to an assassin’s bullet.

DeAndre Kelly and April Elston came to the commemoration with friends and family. They said it was important to honor Dr. King and what he left for future generations.

“It’s something that we have to keep bringing to the fore,” Kelly said, “It’s history. It’s our history actually.

“Even my daughter, the only thing I asked her as she left today was ‘What’s the one thing you learned today?’ She said “always standing up for others,” Elston said. “He’s a 7-year-old, I think if we can impress our younger generations, we’ll all be in a better place.”

You can find other events held in honor of Dr. King here.

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