Martin Luther King Jr.’s son and relatives gathered at the MLK Memorial to lay a wreath ahead of the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the civil rights leader.
At gatherings across the nation, activists, residents and teachers honored the late civil rights leader on what would have been his 89th birthday. Martin Luther King III said there is more work that needs to be done to make his father's dream a reality.
King's daughter, the Rev. Bernice King, urged people to remember her father by doing "an act of kindness toward someone of another race'' between now and April 4, the day the Rev. Martin Luther King was assassinated in 1968.
She asked hundreds of people gathered Monday at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where her father once preached, to "connect and find a sense of humanity in each other.'' And she reminded those at the service to honor the slain rights leader by remembering that "we are one people, one nation, one blood, one destiny.''
The younger King also joined others who criticized President Donald Trump and told the crowd that their collective voice "must always be louder than the one who sometimes does not reflect the legacy of my father."
And she said it's time for what she called a "New Year's revolution of values in our souls" and to honor her father by finishing the work "that he was not able to finish."
Trump dedicated his weekly address to the nation, released Monday, to King.
"Dr. King's dream is our dream, it is the American dream, it's the promise stitched into the fabric of our nation, etched into the hearts of our people and written into the soul of humankind," he said in the address, which he tweeted to his followers. "It is the dream of a world where people are judged by who they are, not how they look or where they come from."
The president's remarks appeared not to resonate with the Rev. Al Sharpton, who also used the holiday to take aim at the racial rhetoric Trump is said to have used.
"Trump Tower is in the wrong state," Sharpton told a crowd of 200 at the National Action Network in Harlem. He said it was embarrassing that Trump is from New York. "What we're going to do about Donald Trump is going to be the spirit of Martin Luther King Day,'' he said.