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Service at Mason Temple commemorates MLK's final sermon

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An invitation-only tribute at the Mason Temple in Memphis, Tenn., commemorated Martin Luther King, Jr.'s, final "I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech. (WLS)

An invitation-only tribute at the Mason Temple in Memphis, Tenn., commemorated Martin Luther King, Jr.'s, final "I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech.

A powerful chorus and a call to action echoed through the church as students from Southwind High School serenaded in praise and worship.

Their songs were a prelude to a commemoration 50 years in the making. The children of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., spoke from the same pulpit where their father delivered his final sermon.

"You are looking at two children who lost their father," Dr. Bernice King said.

She gave an emotional rendition of her father's words, which are forever etched into history.

"And one day we'll all be able to join with Martin King and say 'Free at last, free at last, thank God almighty we are all free at last,'" Bernice said.

"Do not get in any ways tired," said Martin Luther King III. "Why? Because we've come much too far from where we've started. See nobody ever told us that our roads would be easy but I know, I know, I know our God didn't bring us this far to leave us."

Former President Barack Obama sent greetings and spoke about inviting the surviving members of the striking sanitation workers to the White House.

"As long as we continue to march, Dr. King's soul is rejoicing," Obama said.

King's confidante and friend, Ambassador Andy Young, recounted the journey, the movement and the man whose life and legacy lives on in all of us.

"You ain't dead 'til people stop saying your name. Represent, his spirit is still with us," Young said.

The 50th anniversary of King's assassination on April 4, 1968, will be marked by full day of commemorations, memorials and celebrations of his life in Memphis Wednesday.
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societymlk 50th anniversarymartin luther king jrhistoryblack historyu.s. & world
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