Obama to speak at Martin Luther King Memorial dedication


The sculpture of Martin Luther King seen on August, 26, 20011 in Washington DC. The long-awaited dedication of a US national memorial to slain civil rights icon Martin Luther King scheduled for this weekend.


Mladen Antonov

BOSTON, Mass.- President Barrack Obama will deliver the address at the long awaited dedication ceremony for the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial this Sunday.

Located on the Tidal Basin in between the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials, the monument features a three-stone sculpture, an Inscription Wall and 182 cherry blossom trees. One of the three stones, named the Stone of Hope, depicts a likeness of King emerging from granite. Famed Chinese sculptor Lei Yixin created the 30-foot-tall granite sculpture.

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Obama, who will be joined by Vice President Joseph Biden, has repeatedly expressed his admiration for King and even compared himself to King during a fundraiser in August. During numerous occasions, Obama has applauded Dr. King’s service and memory. In a January 2009 essay to the Washington Post, then President-Elect Obama wrote:

“Martin Luther King lived his life as a servant to others, and today, ordinary citizens all across the country honor that legacy through the more than 10,000 service projects they’ve created on USAservice.org.”

The dedication ceremony, which was originally scheduled for August 28 on the 48th anniversary of the “I Have a Dream” speech, is expected to count scores of activists and celebrities among its attendees including Reverend Jesse Jackson and Aretha Franklin. The memorial has been open to the public since mid-August but postponed its original dedication ceremony due to Hurricane Irene. Sunday’s dedication ceremony will be open to the public.

In a press release announcing the participants of the events, Harry E. Johnson, Sr., president and CEO of the Washington, D.C. Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, Inc. said:

“Sunday’s Dedication will be a wonderful way to celebrate the life, the dream, and the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as well as democracy, hope, justice, and love—ecumenical tenants for which Dr. King so bravely stood, and upon which the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial was built.”