Hundreds Brave Cold Temperatures To Honor Martin Luther King Jr.
Hundreds of people braved the cold temperatures and visited downtown Atlanta Monday to honor Martin Luther King Jr.
Morning temperatures didn't make it out of the 40s, but that didn't stop Danielle Bolton and her family from making their way to King Jr.'s grave site.
For her, it’s about remembering history, Bolton said.
"Getting the foundation of what Martin Luther King Day is all about,” she said, while standing a few yards away from MLK’s tombstone with her husband and young son. “This is about who he was as a person and to bring our son up in the right way where he can understand where his historical background comes from."
Bolton said she hopes her son feels empowered by this trip as he grows up.
“He’s a black man and he has a freedom of speech and he has a voice and don’t be afraid to use it,” she said.
Ronald Coleman, an 11-year-old from New Orleans, first visited the historic site three years ago. He said the reason his family visited today is very simple.
"Because Martin Luther King Jr. helped the civil rights movement and made sure we could have our rights today,” Coleman said.
The King Center wouldn’t have been open Monday if it wasn’t for Delta. Since it’s a National Park, it’s been closed during the now monthlong government shutdown. The airline company gave the site an $83,500 grant to reopen and stay open through the Super Bowl, which will be played in Atlanta on Feb. 3.
Kennedy Guidry, also from New Orleans, said he is thankful for that.
“Times like this we have some people who have to step up to the plate when the money is not there to have these types of places open,” Guidry said. “We sure appreciate Delta stepping up when other people are dropping the ball basically.”
While there are many King Jr. quotes to choose from when discussing favorites, Bolton said her favorite is the one engraved on his tombstone.
"Free At last, free at last, thank God Almighty, we are free at last."