PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Thursday is a day of remembrance. It’s the 51st anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. The civil rights leader continues to inspire peace walks in Philadelphia and his legacy has also now become a catalyst for addressing poverty and other economic issues throughout the state.
Dozens of Philadelphians set out on a walk across the Ben Franklin Bridge just before sunrise Thursday.
“This is the 12th annual Bridge Walk For Peace, our annual commemoration of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King,” Reverend David Brown said. “This is our opportunity as a city to recommit ourselves to the work of peace.”
It’s no coincidence that this silent, peaceful walk always takes place along this bridge on this day.
“We love the bridge because it’s iconic to Philadelphia, but we know that we have to cross bridges many times in our lives with people who may not agree with us, people who may look different than us, so being able to cross a bridge, physically, helps us to spiritually and symbolically cross bridges in terms of building better relationships with our neighbors,” Rev. Brown said.
On the 51st anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination in Memphis, Tennessee, the peace walk came to a prayerful end right at sunrise.
Organizers of the event and others commemorating Dr. King’s legacy say there is still more work to be done; still dire issues to address in Philadelphia, like gun violence and poverty.
State Senator Vincent Hughes, along with other state legislators and community outreach programs, brought their message to West Philadelphia. In the shadows of Dr. King’s mural at 4000 Lancaster Avenue, Senate Democrats initiated a statewide call to action over the next 30 to 60 days on the crisis of poverty and economic insecurity throughout the state.
“Today, on the anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination, we’re calling for statewide efforts for the next 30 to 60 days on legislation, on public funding to address the issue of economic insecurity,” Hughes said.
Dr. King’s message of peace, equality and economic justice lives on decades after his life was taken through community activists and state legislators hoping to continue the path that Dr. King began forging decades ago.