Thursday, November 3, 2016

Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Site- DAY THREE

We woke up early this morning and headed to our new favorite park (in the Centennial Olympic green space down the street) to play for a while before catching an uber to the MLK Jr. National Historical Site.  The friendly driver dropped us off right in front of Dr. King's birthplace (which, unfortunately, is currently closed for repairs).  We did get to stop a friendly park ranger who was walking to work and ask a few questions, though (even though it was still half and hour before opening). 
 
Taylynn was really excited to be walking in the street that Dr. King walked-- "We're actually following in his footsteps!" she kept exclaiming. 
 We headed down the street and made it to the eternal flame and tomb of Dr. and Mrs. King-  apparently they were doing some work on the fountain here as well-- but we tried to imagine what it would look like if it were flowing.

 The concept of an 'eternal flame' took a while to convey-- pragmatist Justin kept pointing out-- "it needs to be refilled.  If it doesn't get refilled, it's not eternal", to which we talked about a pipeline being an option.  He still refused to completely buy into the concept because "what if the pipe gets a crack and the gas leaks out before it gets here".  The girls both appreciated the romantic gesture that an eternal flame symbolizes.  Two out of Three ain't bad.
 Outside a museum, we all took turns playing a "piano for peace".
 Inside we were able to see Dr. King's pastoral robes, writings, personal effects and photographs.
 The grounds were covered with beautiful, fragrant roses.  The only place I've ever smelled roses so strongly has been at the House of the Virgin Mary in Ephesus.  They brought such a sense of peace to the site.
 Our final stop was Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Dr. King's father (and eventually Dr. King himself) was pastor.  My kids immediately declared "It smells like GranPapa's church" upon entering.  Indeed, the comforting smell of an old church transcends racial and cultural barriers.
 Sitting in a pew where young Martin sat (well, according to the ranger in the church, a very nice young man who took about 15 minutes to chat with just us, young Martin and his brother would most likely have been up in the choir loft.....unless they were in trouble-- which was when they were asked to sit in the front row)
The church congregation has since moved to a gorgeous new building across the street, and the National Parks Service has restored the stained glass to it's original look to give you an idea of what it looked like when Dr. King preached.

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