News release from the City of Fort Wayne:
Residents invited to view, share memories of historic dedication of MLK Bridge
City invites residents to send in their photos of the June 4th ceremony
(June 11, 2012) – More than 1,500 people joined Mayor Tom Henry and Dr. Derek King, Sr. in celebrating the completion of a memorial bridge named in honor of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, June 4th. City officials are inviting residents to share images they captured of the event by submitting them for posting on a new MLK Bridge website. Those who missed the event may also view photos at the site.
Images may be uploaded at www.cityoffortwayne.org.
Photos will be displayed at www.cityoffortwayne.org/MLKBridge.
“We know that this majestic bridge is so much more than a span across a river,” Mayor Henry said. “It is a symbol that draws our community together – re-energizing our spirit.
It is a statement of unity – reaffirming our commitment to making Fort Wayne a more vibrant and welcoming community – a place of pride and opportunity for all.”
Derek King Sr. — a professor of religious studies at Martin University and the son of Dr. King’s only brother – praised Fort Wayne for finding an extraordinary and lasting way to pay tribute to the American scholar, minister and civil and human rights leader.
“So what you did, Fort Wayne, you have joined those people in America, who have conscious appreciation and respect for Martin Luther King Jr., by doing something that would last – that will outlive each one of us out hereâ€¦,” Derek King said. “A park – no; a street – no; a portrait – no. What you have done is dedicated a bridge to a bridge-builderâ€¦ And, I’m of the opinion that every moving vehicle – buses, trucks, ATVs, bicycles, scootersâ€¦ skateboards – every moving vehicle that comes across that bridge is going to have to be impacted by the presence of Martin Luther King Jr.”
King called the bridge “a grand statement into your downtown and a fine tribute to my uncle’s legacy.”
Other celebration highlights included songs by the “Voices of Unity” choir, a unity walk across the bridge and a lighting ceremony. Attendees were also invited to view a display case from Fort Wayne’s Karpeles Manuscript Museum, featuring the last page of the “We Shall Overcome” speech, with handwritten notes from Dr. King.