Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The year, 1968 was a mournful year for our family and for our country.
It was the year our father died and for America, the death of their most visible spokesperson and Civil Rights leader.
Our Dad died after a brief illness, but tragically, Martin Luther King Jr. died by an assassin’s hand.
An Unforgettable day
April 6, 1968, was a day Virgin Islanders would never forget as they opened up the day’s newspaper in disbelief over the headlines.
Do you remember where you were when you heard the news?
Local government leaders and VI citizens expressed their incredulity and shock over the assassination.
A Living Symbol
Acting VI Governor, Cyril E. King called Dr. King, “a living symbol of struggle for dignity, equality and peace among mankind.”
“Our nation has lost a gifted, able leader and counselor.
This great man, the foremost advocate of non-violence, has become the victim of senseless violence and of the hate and turmoil which has beset the world.” Cyril King said.
“His tragic death creates a vacuum in the forces of reason, which are earnestly seeking to re-establish the fundamental principles of the brotherhood of man.
“Words are inadequate to express fully the shock and deep sense of grief which we, here in the Virgin Islands, feel as a result of the slaying of this good, gentle, God-fearing man.
The acting Governor offered his heartfelt sympathy to Mrs. King and the children.
“We grieve with them and pray that God will comfort and guide them.
May they find comfort in the knowledge that Dr. King died trying to make the world a better place for us all.”
Eddie W. Smith also shared his tribute to Dr. King.
He said, “King was truly a king in many ways: leadership, wisdom and words, these were his masters.
“We shall overcome, and with this, he led and taught. Violence, he said, is not the answer.”
At the White House Rose Garden on November 2, 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed a bill creating a federal holiday for Dr. King’s memory. 🌹
This year, on April 4th, will mark the 50th anniversary of his death.
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