Crowds of people honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at Calder Plaza

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

Retired College of DuPage administrator Ernie Gibson, Ph.D., shares remembrances of his friend the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., during a recent program marking the 50th anniversary of his assassination.

She said it's important to remember how fragile progression can be, and continue to work for equality.

"It was a bit hard but because she has been so interested in the issue for so long and so passionate about it and wanted to do it, it was natural", Arndrea King said. "We get inspired and encouraged from a man like that".

But for many people the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's assassination isn't a sad day.

It's a legacy many young people say they're now working to keep alive.

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"For some of us, the awful, tragic images of April 4, 1968 are forever etched into our minds", said Wayman Britt, Kent County Administrator/Controller. Two years prior, he marched with King in Cicero, Illinois. That's unacceptable. We must do better. Members of King's family pulled a rope together to ring a bell 39 times at the pool surrounding the Atlanta crypt of King and his wife. A red and white wreath was placed on the balcony where King had been standing when he was shot.

"We have not seen a movement like this led by high school students for 55 years", King said noting that in 1963 in Birmingham, Alabama, 3,000 kids were arrested while protesting. In New York, the Dance Theatre of Harlem planned an evening performance in his honour.

Cities across the country are holding events to honor King.

She said she's grateful to have witnessed the historic moment in American history and added the march in Washington still hit close to home for her even though she's Canadian.

Kayla Smith is a law student at the University of Windsor and said King made a profound impact on her life as an activist.

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