Two months before his assassination, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was speaking to his own congregation at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. The words he spoke that night became his own eulogy. He said:
“Every now and then I think about my own death, and I think about my own funeral. If any of you are around when I have to meet my day, I don’t want a long funeral. And if you get somebody to deliver the eulogy, tell them not to talk too long.
Every now and then I wonder what I want them to say. Tell them not to mention that I have a Nobel Peace Prize, that isn’t important. Tell them not to mention that I have three or four hundred other awards, that’s not important.
I’d like someone to mention that day that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to give his life serving others. I’d like someone to say that day that Martin Luther King, Jr., tried to love somebody. I want you to be able to say that day that I did try to feed the hungry. I want you to be able to say that day that I did try, in my life, to clothe those who were naked. I want you to be able to say that I did try to visit those in prison. I want you to say that I tried to love and serve humanity.
I won’t have any money left behind. I won’t have the fine and luxurious things of life to leave behind. But I just want to leave a committed life behind.”