As the Kennedy King Memorial Initiative worked to adhere with city, state, and federal guidelines to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus, they reimagined this year’s April 4 commemoration of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy’s famous speech in Indianapolis on April 4, 1968, the night Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was killed.
Just as Sen. Kennedy was urged to cancel his appearance that evening, KKMI was afraid they would have to cancel their commemorative ceremonies. But like Sen. Kennedy, they decided to commemorate the day online instead of in person.
On the night Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was killed, Sen. Kennedy delivered an impromptu speech from the back of a flatbed truck in near-downtown Indianapolis. It was a moving message urging peace and forgiveness, offered in the midst of violence across the country. His words left a deep impression on all who heard it. The impassioned remarks he delivered became one of the greatest speeches of the 20th century and Sen. Kennedy’s call to strive for understanding and peace reverberates today.
You can view Sen Kennedy’s historic speech by clicking here and hear directly from civic leaders how this deeply moving moment in Indianapolis history continues to connect us to the values and legacy of Sen. Kennedy and Dr. King.
Although all Indy Parks facilities are closed, the outdoor campus at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park at 601 E. 17th St., Indianapolis, is open for the community to enjoy from dawn to dusk and features the Landmark for Peace Memorial sculpture of King and Kennedy reaching out to each other. Out of an abundance of caution and to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the community is asked to practice social distancing (6 feet between each other) when they visit in order to keep the space healthy and safe.