Bells rang 4:01 p.m. Wednesday at various churches and other institutions across Los Angeles County as part of a worldwide effort to recognize the 50th anniversary of the assassination of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
The bells tolled 39 times, signifying the number of years he lived, at the exact time when he died.
Institutions that took part in the memorial included the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles, UCLA, Hollywood United Methodist Church, the Korean Bell of Friendship in San Pedro and All Saints Church in Pasadena.
“The moment is also an opportunity for us to pause and reflect individually on what we are doing to build the culture of love, respect and peace to which the Gospel calls us and to also ask ourselves how we seek to help our brothers and sisters still suffering under the weight of racism,” said Adrian Alarcon, director of media relations for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.
President Donald Trump proclaimed Wednesday as a day to honor King’s legacy.
“It is not government that will achieve Dr. King’s ideals, but rather the people of this great country who will see to it that our nation represents all that is good and true, and embodies unity, peace, and justice,” Trump wrote. “We must actively aspire to secure the dream of living together as one people with a common purpose.
“President Abraham Lincoln sought to eradicate the senseless divisions of racial hierarchies when he issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Just over 100 years later, Dr. King continued this effort and called upon Americans to reject ugly impulses and prejudices, and to recognize the beauty and the humanity of all people, regardless of the color of their skin.
“Today, we remain steadfast in advancing their efforts, in hopes of hastening the day when all of God’s children will join hands in freedom forever.”