MLK Memorial Dedication: Dream Postponed


The barricades were in place, the video screens set up, and the porta pottys lined Independence and Ohio Avenues in preparation for the mass of people expected at the dedication of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial on Sunday. But after more than two decades in the making and a $100+ million raised, that dream was delayed tonight.

The memorial has already survived one natural disaster, the east coast earthquake (the Washington Monument, not far away, didn’t fare as well).  But now Hurricane Irene is heading to the nation’s capital and the city is bracing for the worst.

Despite years of planning, tens of thousands of people in town for the historic occasion, and President Obama among the speakers, the dedication of the memorial has been postponed as a precautionary safety measure in anticipation of the wrath mother nature may bring.

After the long struggle for civil rights, it’s ironic that the dedication itself is delayed.  Right now, planners are hoping to reschedule the official dedication for September or October, but fortunately the public won’t have to wait that long to see the 30-foot sculpture of the civil rights leader surrounded by 14 of his quotes. The memorial opened to the public on Monday and closed tonight at 10 p.m. until the official unveiling on Sunday. Now that those plans are derailed, the memorial may open to the public again before Sunday. As of now, it looks like it will be Saturday. We shall see.

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