The Last Moments of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Last Moments of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Remembering a civil rights icon. 45 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his powerful "Mountaintop Speech." He was assassinated the next day on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel. Memphis Reverend Samuel Billy Kyles was one of the last people to see Dr. King alive.
MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Remembering a civil rights icon. 45 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his powerful "Mountaintop Speech." He was assassinated the next day on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel.

Memphis Reverend Samuel Billy Kyles was one of the last people to see Dr. King alive.

"About a quarter to six we stepped on that balcony and he was leaning talking to Jesse Jackson; he said, 'Don't take the van to Kyle's house.' He said, 'I'm not taking the van.' He was leaning over the railing and the shot rang out."

That was April 4th, 1968.

"I ran in the room to use the phone to call an ambulance, and operator left the switchboard so we couldn't call."

That operator was the wife of the owner of the Lorraine Motel.

"She came outside and saw Martin lying on the floor and had a heart attack. I looked at all that blood Marcus, coming out of his body, pumping out. It was a long time before I could talk about it. It was hurtful... Painful."

There are many things Rev. Kyles says he's glad he can't remember about that day. The reverend wishes he could erase the memory of his friend shot dead.

"Here he is laying on the cold concrete 2nd floor of the Lorraine Motel. We never used the word death. No one ever said Martin's dead or dying. They just said we've lost him. We've lost him."

Pastor Keith Norman, President of the local chapter of the NAACP, says Dr. King may have lost his life that day but his influence lives on.

"Dr. King has inspired probably every African-American young male born in the 1960's moving forward."

Norman's statement couldn't be more true.

"You can kill the dreamer, but you can't kill the dream. The dream is still alive," Kyles added.

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