From 2014 trip

June 13th, 2014

It’s Sheryl (Day 6 – 6/12/14)… and today is the day on this tour that I have been waiting for (minus the migraine that has hit due to lack of caffeine intake. I’m going through serious withdraw).

We have made it to Memphis, TN, home to so much history (and what I will soon find out are some of the best BBQ ribs in the country on Beale St), but we visited the newly renovated National Civil Rights Museum which houses the Lorraine Motel, the site of MLK’s last night and ultimately his assassination.

We also visited the Mason Temple around the corner, the church where he preached his “Mountaintop” speech, which was also the last speech he would ever give.

This day moved me. I started this trip having more knowledge about MLK’s final days than I had knowledge of any of the civil rights movement history that I’ve learned, which means I’ve learned A LOT! Messiah College was fortunate to host Rev. Billy Kyles in 2012, who was on the balcony with MLK when he was shot. Having hosted Rev. Kyles, having spent time with him, hearing his story, the story of King’s final days and seeing pictures of the Lorraine motel made the history real to me. Today, history came to life. I feel forever changed.

When people ask if there is someone in the world – alive or dead – that you’d like to meet, I never knew who I would say. But without question now, for me, that person is Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He died too young. He died with work unfinished. But he was not afraid of death. As Rev. Kyles said after the assassination, “you can kill the dreamer, but you cannot kill the dream.”

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