Remembering Dr. King 45 years later - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Remembering Dr. King 45 years later

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

Forty-five years ago on April 3, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., gave his final speech in Memphis. He spoke out in support of striking sanitation workers, giving his famous "I've been to the Mountaintop" speech.

Dr. King spoke about the future of civil rights, and the long road that was ahead.

But it was the end of his speech, where Dr. King seemed to predict his own death saying, "I may not get there with you, but I want you to know tonight, that we as people will get to the promise land."

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Civil Rights leaders, including NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Jealous and Martin Luther King III, attended an event Wednesday evening at the Mason Temple in continuing Dr. King's legacy.

"I was eight-years-old when it happened," said Terry Walker-Dampier, who traveled to Memphis from California, "I always dreamed of coming to Memphis to the Mason Temple."

Being in the very place Dr. King was on the eve of his assassination, Walker-Dampier says you can still feel his spirit inside.

"I feel that," she said. "His love and emotions. Wow. Just a great man."

Jealous said that even after 45 years since Dr. King's final speech, we all have a lot of work to do.

"This was a night we had to focus on what his message was tonight, which was a message of resurrection," Jealous said. "It was a message of hope, that we could get to the mountaintop, that we could succeed in the goals of this movement. Tomorrow we will have to remember the day of his death, the day he was taken from us. But tonight was important that we remember that we still have work to do.

"He gave us a mission from that pulpit, and our job every day is to push forward on that mission of resurrecting this country for all of us who want to believe, that the pledge 'one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all' is a promise and not simply and aspiration."

Dr. King's son said his trips to Memphis are always challenging for him but he says he knows his father's work is not finished.

"Today's workers do have vacation, they do have pensions and a number of things," King said. "The problem is instead of them making more money, because the cost of living is going up, they're trying to take more from them."

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