Archbishop Iakovos, in the presence of the father and daughter of the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., placed a wreath of white flowers on the tomb of the martyred civil rights leader, which is located in Atlanta, adjacent to the Ebenezer Baptist Church.
Attending the ceremony were (left to right) Bishop Timothy of Detroit, Bishop Iakovos of Chicago, Rev. King, Bishop Anthimos of Boston, the Archbishop, and Bishop Anthony of San Francisco.
More than 150 persons, members of the Archdiocesan Council and delegates to the Twenty-Fifth Biennial Clergy-Laity Congress in the Americas, which convened in Atlanta, attended the visit to the King grave and heard the remarks made by Archbishop Iakovos to Rev. King:
"Rev. King, we of the Greek Orthodox faith have come in continuance of the journey commenced by your son, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther, King, Jr., twenty years ago, in pursuit of the liberties to which all Americans are entitled.
"We came to pray so that his dream, only partially fulfilled, may some day soon will be fully realized. For civil and human rights receive, unfortunately, lip service most of the times.
"We came to assure Martin Luther King's soul that his grave continues to raise concern in our hearts over the tardiness of our society in its -pursuit of the ideals and values for which he suffered martyrdom.
"In placing this wreath of white flowers we also place ourselves in a position of definite commitment to the principles for which Martin Luther King, the man with a pure mind and soul, lived and died."
Responding, Rev. King expressed his thanks to the Archbishop, the Bishops and delegates for coming to his son's grave, and said he was grateful for the expression of love and friendship conveyed for his son.
The visit was concluded with the singing of the traditional Greek Orthodox memorial hymn, "May his memory be eternal".