Mourners Gather at King Center in Atlanta

We talked to mourners gathered at the tomb of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the King Center in Atlanta. Some people are leaving flowers, and others kneel in prayer.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

Today, visitors to the King Center in Atlanta had these thoughts on Mrs. King's legacy.

Ms. LISA MOORE (Visitor): My name is Lisa Moore. I think she's really going to be remembered for being a lady in the African American Community. You know a lady that took a lot of hurt, withstood it and you know, just bounced back stronger and stronger every time. You know, raising a family of four all by herself. You know having bombs thrown in your house, having to protect your kids after losing your husband. It had to be just a living nightmare. I'm sure she probably, God put that on her mind. And you know God protect my kids. And as a mother I can relate to that.

Mr. JIMMY FIELDS (Visitor): Jimmy Fields, and this is my son, Jimmy, Jr. Well, she's an icon. It's, almost everything that we as people have today is a tribute to what they did for us. And I think that you know, I wanted to pay my respects and teach my son that this legacy needs to be continued. I mean they stood up for what they believed was right and if you think you're right, you should stand up for it.

Ms. WYTERIA BINGHAM (Visitor): Wyteria Bingham. She was Martin Luther King's wife but she stood for all the things that he did. And I think she was trying to carry on what he was preaching. So I couldn't stay home you know. I came 'cause I really, in my heart I had to honor.

BLOCK: Visitors at the King Center in Atlanta today paying tribute to Coretta Scott King, who's died at age 78. Here she is once more speaking in Washington, D.C. in April of 1993.

Ms. CORETTA SCOTT KING (Social Activist, Widow of Dr. King): Martin Luther King Jr. called on people of all races, religions and ethnic groups to put an end to poverty, racism and violence. He called us to have the vision and courage to create a beloved community of caring and compassion where all people can live together in peace and justice. Like Martin Luther King, Jr. we were not put here in this greatest of nations to dream small dreams and perform insignificant deeds. The struggle to fulfill his dream of the beloved community will demand courage, dedication and yes, sacrifice.

Americans of all races, black, white, red, brown, yellow, and a new coalition of conscience united and I challenge to the nation's leadership to take action to fulfill the dream. For now is not the time for hesitation. Now is not the time for uncertainty. Now is not the time for indecision. But now is the time to move forward in a unified nonviolent coalition to fulfill the promise of democracy. Now is the time to make real the dream of freedom and justice and now is the time to rise up in a great new movement of national unity, peace, brotherhood, with justice. Thank you.

BLOCK: Our coverage of the death of Coretta Scott King continues online. You can hear a 2003 interview with Mrs. King, read a timeline of her life, and see historic photos from the civil rights era at our website, NPR.org.

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