Legacy March marks anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination

Braving the bitter cold, ice and snow, dozens of people hit the streets on the morning of Jan. 11, 2018, for the Legacy March. The marched from Monument Circle to the Statehouse in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — This year marks 50 years since Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated.

In April 1968, the civil rights leader was shot and killed at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee.

Now, people in Indiana are remembering King’s legacy.

Braving the bitter cold, ice and snow, dozens of people hit the streets Friday morning for the Legacy March. The marched from Monument Circle to the Statehouse in honor of King.

Jerry Wade, who marched Friday morning, said, “It means to me personally that I can walk around and feel free…. This is where I belong.”

Gov. Eric Holcomb walked right among them. For him, this was personal.

“It was his walk, his action. His deeds that are so inspirational to me,” Holcomb said. “It always underscores we have more work to do, and we always will, and together we can.”

They gathered inside the Statehouse for the 27th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Indiana Holiday Celebration. Artamese Grimes, who attended the event said of King, “He tried to end racism.”

Earl Mason, who marched in the event, said, “He’s fought for labor rights, civil rights.”

The message? King’s dream is not dead.

Gregory Wilson, the executive director of the Indiana Civil Rights Commission, said, “We’re just trying to celebrate his legacy and let people know that we still have to come together. No matter how divisive things seem.”

Perhaps no one in the room understands that more than 88-year-old Pastor Mel Jackson.

Mel Jackson, a pastor who marched with King, said, “I’ve never met anybody, no human being, like Martin Luther King Jr.”

He marched with King in Memphis in the late 1960s.

“His message was always about love,” Jackson said.

That’s a message they hope rings true across Indiana.

Jackson said something else King said to him that still resonates. King told him when you talk about family, government and the law, humility is something that’s missing in many people.

He said King told him that “hatred could take you to the bar of justice, but humility and love will take you to the throne of grace.”