Posted on April 4, 2018
KNOXVILLE, TENN., April 4, 2018 – Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) released the following statement on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr:
“Today we commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s assassination at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. It is crucial that our children grow up remembering this pivotal time in American history. My first address in the United States Senate was about the importance of helping our children learn U.S. History so they grow up knowing what it means to be American. There is no more essential part of understanding American history than grasping our long struggle with race.
“I was proud to see the enactment of the African American Civil Rights Network Act of 2017 – legislation I introduced with Senator Sherrod Brown. This national network is facilitated by the National Park Service and will help recognize sites that are significant to the Civil Rights movement. In March, the Lorraine Motel became the second site included in the network. I am working with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to also make the Mason Temple a site in that network.
“The struggle for civil rights is not a snapshot – it is a panorama. I remember very well what Reverend Ben Hooks from Memphis – who was head of the NAACP – used to say, ‘You need to remember that America is a work in progress.’
“There is no better example of a work in progress than the change in the lives of young men and women since Dr. King’s assassination 50 years ago today. All of us who have lived these 50 years celebrate that our country has come a long way, but we also know that we have a long way still to go.”