ATLANTA - On Monday, the nation will pause to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Thousands will gather at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site in Atlanta in remembrance of the civil rights icon.
King's youngest child, Dr. Bernice King, who is the CEO of the King Center, took time to talk about her father's life and legacy.
“He's touched so many lives. People feel like he is their mentor even in his death, their guide,” said Bernice King.
Dr. Bernice King, was just four years old when her father was assassinated. This year will mark the 50th anniversary of his death.
“It's an emotional time from a personal perspective,” King said.
As CEO of the King Center, the youngest child of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his wife, Coretta Scott King, has been entrusted to preserve her father's legacy while continuing her parents' work.
"He showed us how to stand in the face of injustice and evil… with dignity and with grace and with force and not back down and not destroy another person in the process, not be the inflictor of violence himself, but to be a vessel of unconditional love that brought about some of the transformation we've experienced,” said King.
In the years following her father’s death, her mother would successfully spearhead the establishment of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, the national King holiday, and the King monument on the National Mall.
“That took a tremendous amount of work on my mother's part to expose him that way," King said.
Mrs. King would say she was "married to the movement" working alongside her husband while raising the couple's four children and united in the fight for civil rights.
She would prove unwavering in the face of violence, constant death threats, and his assassination in 1968.
“And had she not stood in those shoes there would not be an iconic Martin Luther King Jr.,” said King.
The great civil rights leader honored just this week with President Trump signing a bill, designating the King National Historic Site a National Park, the first National Park to honor an African American.
“He was very hated, one of the most hated in America when he was assassinated. Now, he is one of the most loved in the world,” said King.
The annual King Day Commutative Service will take place Monday starting at 10 a.m. That service can be seen on FOX 5 Atlanta.