The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial opened to the public on Aug. 22, standing as a national monument in Washington, D.C., to King’s humanitarian vision.
The memorial aims to convey four themes of King’s life: democracy, justice, hope, and love, according to the MLK Memorial Foundation. The MLK ‘Stone of Hope’ was sculptured by Chinese artist Lei Yixin. Nearby, a 450-foot granite wall will feature more than a dozen of King’s quotes.
Situated between the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials, and adjacent to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial, the legacy to King claims a space along the Tidal Basin at West Potomac Park in Washington.
The monument was approved by President Bill Clinton through a joint congressional resolution on July 16, 1998. A dedication ceremony for the monument will be held on Aug. 28 during the 48th anniversary of King’s “I Have A Dream” speech.
Harry E. Johnson Sr., president and CEO of the MLK Memorial Foundation said in a press release that the monument “will be a source of history and inspiration for all people, for all time.” The foundation raised more than $120 million to build and maintain the memorial through a “Build the Dream” campaign.
The memorial aims to “evoke the memory and spiritual presence of Dr. King. It will honor not only a great man, but the values that empowered his leadership, including courage and truth, unconditional love and forgiveness, justice and equality, reconciliation and peace,” according to the MLK Memorial Foundation’s website.