After being postponed due to Hurricane Irene, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial was officially dedicated on Sunday, Oct. 16 in Washington, D.C. In the days after he was assassinated, hundreds of Jewish schools were closed and Jewish organizations mourned the civil rights leader.
At the time, a pledge was made to plant 1,000 trees in a section of a memorial forest in Israel named after John F. Kennedy. Fundraising efforts over the next several years led to the completion of 10,000 trees designated by the Jewish National Fund as the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Forest in Israel in 1978, ten years after his death, with promises of another to follow.
According to The Washington Post:
The forest highlights Jewish organizations that were at the forefront of the American civil rights movement. People mentioned include Michael Schwerner and Andrew Goodman, who, with James Chaney, were killed in 1964 in Mississippi during a volunteer effort to register black voters.
As the Post notes, another memorial forest was established in memory of King’s wife, the late Coretta Scott King, who eulogized Golda Meir in 1978:
"People who believe in and work toward human rights have lost one of their most effective leaders. Golda Meir was more than just a Prime Minister of a courageous nation. She was an inspiration to all who believe in peace and the dignity of humanity. She was a symbol of determination and perseverance. She was a beacon of strength and, at the same time, she was a leader who kept in touch with the needs of her people. It is not just Israel which has lost a leader. The world has suffered a loss of one of its most outstanding citizens…."
Image: MLK taken by Joseph Leonardo, taken Sept. 3, 2011 (CC BY-SA 2.0)