There are some events that stay locked in your memory bank. For me, the death of Martin Luther King is one of them.
At the time I was a flight attendant for Delta Airlines on a trip returning to Atlanta from the west coast. Mid trip the pilot came on the PA saying, “I have sad news today. We have just received word that Martin Luther King was shot in Memphis. We believe the shot to have been fatal.”
For a brief moment, there was total silence, the kind that follows shock. In the following moments, however, there were differing responses, and I remember being saddened and surprised that anyone would express anything other than sensitivity to a senseless killing. Remember, though, the late 60’s were still sensitive when it came to civil rights, and not all people were appreciative of MLK’s efforts.
As I sit here thinking about that day, I once again feel sadness not just for his loss of life but because in some ways we learned so little from MLK’s nonviolent approach to easing tension between people.
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