Dr. Martin Luther King, courtesy of Minnesota Historical Society 📓
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The year, 1968 was a mournful year for our family and for our country.
It was the year my father died and for America, the death of their most visible spokesperson and Civil Rights leader.
My Dad died after a brief illness, and tragically, Dr. 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 the 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 on January 18th in honor of Dr. King’s memory. 🌹
This year, on April 4th, will mark the 52nd anniversary of his death.
To learn more about Dr. King’s life, visit amazon.com. They have an incredible collection. 📚
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Even in death, Dr. King lives on because the values he represents are timeless…dignity, equality, peace, justice and honor. What we all need to remember on this 50th anniversary is that those values didn’t die when he was killed. He, along with many great leaders, espoused that these values are essential characteristics inherent in the freedom we all live and die for every day. The Message, therefore, is that we need to embody these qualities in order for us to benefit from them. To quote another great leader, Gandhi says, “Each one has to find peace from within. And peace to be real must be unaffected by outside circumstances.” He also says, ” As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world–as in being able to remake ourselves.”