MLK Memorial

The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial is on the National Mall, Washington, D.C. The memorial is located across the Tidal Basin from the Jefferson Memorial. For more details visit: www.mlkmemorial.org

IMAGE COURTESY OF MLK MEMORIAL
(IMAGE COURTESY OF MLK MEMORIAL)

Symbolism abounds
The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial is situated along the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C., among the famous cherry trees — a gift from Japan as a sign of peace and unity. Each spring, the season of hope and rebirth, the trees bloom with delicate pink and white flowers for two weeks, often coinciding with the anniversary of King’s assassination, April 4. During the summer and early fall, blooms from newly planted crepe myrtles will offer a colorful display and sense of enduring faith.

The symbolism doesn’t stop with the trees. The memorial’s address, 1964 Independence Ave., is a reference to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The site also creates a visual “line of leadership” from the Lincoln Memorial, where King gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963, to the memorial honoring Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence.

The memorial’s sculpture also plays a symbolic role, inspired by this line in King’s “Dream” speech: “With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope.”

Visitors enter the site through a split boulder ( the“mountain of despair”) to find a solitary stone (the “stone of hope”) from which King’s image emerges.

There also is a 450-foot  long, crescent-shaped granite inscription wall containing 14 of King’s most notable quotes on justice, democracy, hope and love.

Celebrity support
The entertainment community’s support for King didn’t end with his death in 1968. Entertainers have come out in droves, donating their time and resources to help promote the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. This “Dream Team” includes celebrities such as Muhammad Ali, Maya Angelou, Chris Brown, Laurence Fishburne, Harrison Ford, George Foreman, Whoopi Goldberg, Dustin Hoffman, Peter Max, Al Roker, Martin Sheen and Dionne Warwick.

The group held a series of “Dream Dinners,” as well as a “Dream Concert” at Radio City Music Hall, to raise funds for the memorial.

— MCT, Source: www.mlkmemorial.org

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