He then quoted a poem by Aeschylus: “Even in our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart, until, in our despair, against our will, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.” Kennedy went on to talk about the need for love and understanding in the face of such tragedy. He urged the crowd to remember King’s message of peace and to work together to achieve it. The speech was short, but it was deeply moving. It was a moment of great sadness but also great hope.
It is estimated that over a million people heard Robert F. Kennedy’s speech announcing the death of Martin Luther King Jr. Kennedy delivered the news of King’s assassination in Indianapolis on April 4, 1968. The crowd had been waiting for Kennedy to arrive and deliver a campaign speech. When he got onstage, Kennedy was visibly shaken by the news. He told the crowd that King had been shot and killed in Memphis, Tennessee.