Last summer, Ms Echternacht (Ek-ter-knocked) went on an airplane to a teacher meeting in a place called Atlanta, Georgia. It’s hot and steamy there. It’s the place where Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. was born. One afternoon, Ms Echternacht rode the train to go see where Martin Luther King was born.
It was a long train ride. When Ms Echternacht got off the train, she was hot and tired. She looked around for a sign to show how to get to Dr. King’s house, but there were no signs. No one was even around. It was an empty part of town.
So, she started walking and hoping that she would see a sign soon, but there weren’t any. A Mom and her two little boys in bright red matching shorts were walking in front of her and Ms Echternacht heard them ask a man “Where is Dr. King’s house?”. The man she asked didn’t have very many teeth and at first, he did look a little scary, but he said, “This way, I’ll show you!” Ms. Echternacht said to the Mom, “I’m going there too!” So we all walked together.
The Mom and kids were from Chicago visiting their family and they really wanted to see where Dr. King lived. So did Ms Echternacht. We walked past the park and some empty stores. We walked past a big apartment building with lots of people sitting outside. They waved to us and the man with no teeth. It was where he lived. He told us “go left and go right and then a few more blocks and you’re there” and then told us goodbye. We said, ‘Thank you!” and waved back. We were so glad he showed us the way to get there!
Ms Echternacht and the Mom and her two boys with bright red shorts all went into the church together to see what it was like. Everyone sat down very quietly and said prayers.
Ms Echternacht could feel Martin in the church. When she was ready to go, she thought maybe the Mom and her two boys in matching shorts had already gone, but no! they were still there! We all went to the gift shop together. Ms Echternacht got her six year old nephew a bright yellow T-shirt that said “Ebenezer Baptist Church”.
Finally, we were ready to get to Martin’s house. It was just one block away! We were almost there! But when we got there, the house was closed. It had taken us so long to get there that we couldn’t go in! We were just happy to see his house though, and so the boys in the bright red matching shorts sat on the front steps of Dr. King’s house and we all took a picture.
We were getting tired, but there was still more to see! The big museum was just across the street and we wanted to see that too. Also the place where he was buried.
When Dr. King died, everyone was crying. Well, most everyone. The boss of Georgia did not want to give Dr King a big funeral. He wanted everyone to go away and forget about Martin. He thought Martin was bad. But everyone knew that Martin was good and everyone remembered him. They came from all over the world to march three and half miles and cry, sing and be very still and quiet for his funeral. People still cry today for Martin and teachers make sure to teach kids about him so no one will ever forget him.
We were all quiet for a long time. Then we went to the Museum. They had important things there from when Martin was alive.
Finally, we went across the street to the Dr King National Park.
After seeing all of this, Ms Echternacht and the Mom and her two boys with the matching red shorts were very tired, but very happy. We were all so glad that no one would ever forget about Dr King. Then we started the long walk back to the train together.