Martin Luther King Jr. honoured on anniversary of assassination
Everyone from presidential candidates, civil rights leaders, labour activists and citizens of the world will come together to honour the man who stood for racial equality and justice for all.
King was cut down on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel on April 4, 1968, while helping to organize a strike by Memphis sanitation workers, then some of the most impoverished of the city's workers. His confessed killer James Earl Ray died in prison in 1998.
Members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, which represented the workers then and now, marched Friday from their downtown headquarters to the motel, now a civil rights museum.
Presidential candidates Hillary Rodham Clinton and John McCain were scheduled to take part in later anniversary day events that were to include an afternoon "recommitment march" and the laying of wreaths at the site. Barack Obama will be campaigning in Indiana.
'Hear the message'
"The whole nation flinched" when King was killed, said writer Cynthia Griggs Fleming, one of the many historians, commentators and activists in town for panel discussions and lectures on King's legacy.
King advised his followers to keep working for equal rights for all citizens, "to keep on moving," no matter what obstacles they faced, Fleming said in a talk Thursday at a Memphis church.