Thursday, September 17, 2009

Walking in Memphis, Part 2

It was Friday, September 11, 2009 and there was an overcast sky as I left the Peabody Hotel at 7:00 am for my last walk in Memphis. I headed back to the river and turned downstream through Tom Lee Park. Just as I was nearing the center of the park, I saw a long flight of steps leading up the bluff overlooking the park and the river. As one always ready to go off my route, I climbed the steps and found myself at the foot of Huling Avenue. Four blocks down Huling, past old warehouses and overgrown vacant lots, I arrived at Mulberry Street and the Lorraine Hotel.

The neon sign shone in the grayness and stillness of the empty streets. The Lorraine Hotel, built in the 1920’s, the place Martin was killed.

It was at this very spot where Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. was struck down on a balcony as he stood with his friends.

Now forty-one years later on the day the nation paused to remember the tragedy of September 11, 2001, I paused in Memphis to remember the tragedy of April 4, 1968.


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