Today marks the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  This one seems especially significant because the span of time since his death is now longer than the span of his life.

A few years ago Carolyn, my dad, and I visited the museum in Memphis that’s located where he was killed.  It’s a civil rights museum, but obviously has a lot of stuff connected particularly with the perverse events of April 4, 1968.  Parts of it are really creepy, like the vintage cars that are still parked in the motel parking lot.  They’ve preserved the room that Dr. King stayed in, and you can look inside it and see out onto the balcony where he was killed.  The museum itself does a fantastic job of displaying the history of the civil rights movement.  As someone who was born shortly after most of these events, it helped me understand what it was like to live through them.  If you’re ever swinging through Memphis, it’s definitely worth checking out.

Above is a picture of some of Dr. King’s colleagues pointing to the place where the gunshots came from.  I’m afraid that Dr. King’s dream also died an untimely death, or at least has had its realization significantly delayed.  Forty years later, we’re still pointing the finger at each other.  It seems from my perspective that we live in a more hostile age than any in recent memory.  Rather than working toward peace and unity, we’ve splintered our society by refusing to associate with anyone who is imperfect or differs from us in any way.  Why can’t we just admit that we’re all messed up, and realize that if your strengths are my weaknesses and your weaknesses are my strengths, we’d be a whole lot better if we’re on the same team?

By the way, it’s strange that even though the men in this picture immediately and unanimously identified where the shots came from, King’s killer managed to escape overseas and was not caught for two months.

Published in: on April 4, 2008 at 5:42 am  Leave a Comment  

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