Local Voices: A reminder to remember on MLK Day

Dr. King at the March on Washington on August 28, 1963. (Photo taken by Rowland Scherman, colorized by Jordan J. Lloyd. From unsplash.com)
by David Wilford


When we reach a certain age that word “remembrance” takes on different meanings. Life, death, success, failure. They come at you from many directions.

We remember childhood days, high school friends, first girlfriends, careers, life, death!

Deep in December it’s nice to remember. BUT some memories can be unpleasant and painful!

I have a great memory that has many aspects of what I have stated. My wife and I took a short auto trip along the Mississippi River to Saint Louis in 1965.

On the return trip we stopped in Springfield to visit Lincoln’s Tomb. Standing inside at the foot of the Lincolns’ graves we heard a noise to our left; a photographer came the wrong way and told us that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was coming in. A couple next to us mumbled and walked out. Dr. King came and stood quietly next to us listening to the narration of Lincoln’s life and death by assassination.

Afterwords, we shook hands. I asked what brought him to Springfield. He said to give a speech. We parted, we to a friend’s visit, he to his speech to the Illinois State AFL-CIO.

On our continuing journey I remember discussing with my wife Bonnie that we would never forget that moment.

Just three years later, Dr. King was assassinated.


April 4th, 1909: My father-in-law’s birthday.
April 4th, 1968: Dr. King’s assassination.
April 4th, 2019: My wife’s death.

David Wilford

Local Voices is our version of “Letters to the Editor.” The opinions posted here are those of the writers, and posting them does not indicate endorsement by The Lansing Journal. We welcome input from fellow residents who have thoughtful things to say about topics that are important to our community. Send your submissions to The Lansing Journal with “Voices” in the subject line.



  1. Thanks to the Lan Oak Park District workers for the superb job of maintaining good footing on the bike trail. It is the only place to walk, other than the street without breaking your neck.

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