Montgomery City Bus--Henry Ford Museum
For many of us who remember Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., it's hard to imagine 45 years have passed since his assassination in Memphis.
I was a pre-teen who sobbed when I learned of his murder. I knew what his struggle had meant for African Americans and for our country. In the mid-1960s, I had joined my parents in a civil rights march down Saginaw Street in Flint, Mich.
They told me, "Christ loves everyone. People should not be judged by their skin color, but by their character."
They assured me the U.S. Constitution guarantees all Americans equal opportunity, though not equal outcomes.
Two years ago, I sat with one of my grandsons (he's part Native American) on the same Montgomery City bus ridden by Rosa Parks. It's now on display at The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mich. I told Jon that if it hadn't been for the efforts of Ms. Parks and Dr. King, he'd be forced to sit at the back of the bus.
Sure, America isn't perfect, but you must admit we've come a long way since that April day in Memphis.
On this 45th anniversary of Dr. King's death, I thank God for him and others who have made this a better country for all Americans.
I'm also thankful that my grandson Jon was able to join me that summer day in Dearborn at the front of that historic Montgomery City bus.
Watch this video of Dr. King's "I Have a Dream Speech."