(WMC-TV) - "It's a good day for me, for Martin Luther King. It's a good day."
Elmore Nickelberry has been working in the City of Memphis sanitation department for 60 years and counting.
"I'll keep working until I get tired," said Nickelberry Friday.
Nickelberry was part of the city's 1968 sanitation strike and marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
"You go over there and fight for your country, and then you come back and you got to fight again in your country. And so in a way it learned me something."
Nickelberry recalls the unrest gripping the city and the visits from perhaps the most notable civil rights crusader.
"I had no idea I would be marching with Martin Luther King when the first time they said we gonna march with Martin Luther King. I was happy to march with him."
Nickelberry say he was on his way to church when he got the news that King had been shot at the Lorraine Motel.
"Most times, I don't like to talk about that because inside I feel hurt about that," said Nickelberry. "I'm proud he came to Memphis. And I'm proud of the things he did for the sanitation department. He stood up for us and we got a right to stand up for him."
Besides his daily shifts with the city, Nickelberry is now an active voice in opposition to the privatizing the city's sanitation services.
"They should just carry on the fight and as long as I live that's what I'm gonna do, carry on the fight."
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