Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy honored with wreath-laying ceremony at DC memorial

The annual ceremony commemorating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. brought leaders from all across the nation together Monday, Jan. 20, 2020. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
Clifton Ross directs a choir at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, during the ninth annual Wreath Laying and Day of Reflection and Reconciliation, in Washington, Monday, Jan. 20, 2020. (AP/Jose Luis Magana)
Martin Luther King III, accompanied by his daughter Yolanda, places a wreath at the base of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial during the ninth annual Wreath Laying and Day of Reflection and Reconciliation, in Washington, Monday, Jan. 20, 2020. (AP/Jose Luis Magana)
Martin Luther King III, accompanied by his wife Andrea Waters King and his daughter Yolanda, places a wreath at the base of the memorial, in Washington, Monday, Jan. 20, 2020. (AP/Jose Luis Magana)
People gather at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial during the ninth annual Wreath Laying and Day of Reflection and Reconciliation, in Washington, Monday, Jan. 20, 2020. (AP/Jose Luis Magana)
People gather in Washington, D.C., at the memorial on Monday, Jan. 20, 2020. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
The event included a wreath-laying ceremony on Monday, Jan. 20, 2020. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
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The annual ceremony commemorating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. brought leaders from all across the nation together Monday in D.C.

Martin Luther King III and his family, along with local leaders and community members, gathered together at the powerful memorial by the Tidal Basin to lay a wreath and reflect on the progress made so far and the mission ahead.

The event began with a prayer — led by the Rev. Dr. Grainger Browning Jr., pastor of Ebenezer A.M.E. Church in Fort Washington, Maryland — and worship songs from the choir. The message was one of upholding democracy, justice, hope and love.

“We as a people triumphed over obstacles that no one else has, and we will do it again and again,” said Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax at the event.

As he addressed the crowd, Fairfax shared his own story of recently learning about being a descendant of enslaved people and the importance of carrying on the mission of equality.

“We all came in different ships, but we’re all in the same boat now,” Fairfax added.

The event ended with the wreath-laying and marks the ninth anniversary of The Memorial Foundation’s tribute to the civil rights leader here in D.C.

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