CT communities honor MLK 50 years after his death - WFSB 3 Connecticut

CT communities honor MLK 50 years after his death

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s death was remembered at the Norwich Free Academy on Wednesday morning. (WFSB) Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s death was remembered at the Norwich Free Academy on Wednesday morning. (WFSB)
The likeness of a bust of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will be unveiled in Ansonia on the 50th anniversary of his death (WFSB) The likeness of a bust of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will be unveiled in Ansonia on the 50th anniversary of his death (WFSB)
ANSONIA, CT (WFSB) -

People around the world remembered Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Wednesday.

The civil rights leader was killed 50 years ago to the day.

Dr. King was just 39 years old when he was shot and killed at a motel in Memphis, but his legacy has lived on.

The National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis held a day-long service on Wednesday in King's honor.

Rallies and ceremonies also happened in Connecticut.

One event took place at the Norwich Free Academy on Wednesday morning.

“He was [felled] by an assassin’s bullet because he dared to stand for love when hate stirred our hearts to rage," said Rev. Gregory Perry.

Those who attended honored how the civil rights leader dedicated his life to addressing injustice and achieving equality for all.

“The FBI once called him the most dangerous man in America because he was a revolutionary," said Dianne Daniels, president, NAACP Norwich branch. "Sincere in his commitment, serious in his calling, he had fire in his bones, love in his heart, and courage in his soul.”

Decades later, he's still an inspiration to students.

“Dr. King once said 'if you can’t fly then run. If you can’t walk, crawl. But by all means, keep moving,'" said Luc Paul, a student. "This quote inspires me and motivates me.”

NFA students, teachers, and community members gathered to plant a tree to commemorate the Supreme Court's Brown v. Board of Education decision that outlawed segregation in public schools.

People spoke, sung and prayed.

“We lift our voices and are articulate about how we are feeling," said Guercie Guerrier, NFA senior. "We’re not going to be quiet or silent.” 

Guerrier said it's important to push forward and continue King's work while never forgetting his ideals. She said more still needs to be done.

“We standing together and we’re not divided," she said. “We’re not going to stop until this is fixed.”

Another rally in Hartford, led by Reverend John Selder of the group Moral Monday, was clear with their message that the poor, minorities, and the marginalized not be forgotten by our government leaders. 

"The unfinished work continues to pick up where other left off. It is our time to speak, our time to act, our time to persist and resist, our time to require and demand," Selders said. 

Young people at the Hartford rally, who were born long after King was shot and killed said they are keenly aware of his legacy, and feel King would be saddened that in 2018, things have not progressed further. 

"I think he would expect more. I think he would expect people to have better wages. People of color, women, would be earning more and things would be better. We're not finished," said Ava Bermudez-Zimmerman. 

Another event took place in Ansonia where it's looking to place a bust of King in the city.

The community project is already underway. The bust will be placed at Veteran Memorial Park.

A likeness will be unveiled at 6 p.m. at a fundraiser. It is being sponsored by the Ansonia Dr. King Bust Committee.

The committee wants to memorialize the legacy of King and inspire the community to be loving and compassionate.

The bust is being done by a local sculptor who is originally from Albania. His work has appeared in the White House, Buckingham Palace, and the Vatican.

There's more work to be done and the committee is hoping to complete this project with support from the community.

In Hartford, there will also be a rally and march at 4 p.m. at the State Supreme Court.

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