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article imageMartin Luther King Jr. Memorial Dedication Ceremony This Sunday

By Jacki Viles     Oct 12, 2011 in Lifestyle
Washington - The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial will be holding its dedication ceremony on October 16, 2011.
Originally it had been scheduled for Aug 28th but was postponed due to Hurricane Irene and an 5.8 earthquake that hit the Virginia/DC area on August 23d.
That postponement was just a minor delay compared to the controversies and setbacks that surrounded establishing the monument in the first place.
As far back as 1996 the U.S. Congress gave permission to the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. to create a foundation to raise the $100 million it was estimated to build the monument. Dr. King was a member of the fraternity while attending Boston University.
In 2001 the King family objected to the use and likeliness of Dr. King and demanded licensing fees from the foundation in order to use his name for further marketing campaigns. According to Black America Web, the family’s protection of Dr. King’s legacy is nothing new. Close to $1 million has been paid out to the family’s business for this project alone.
As time went on, everything from the design plan, the site, the choice of ethnic artist to the quality and origin of the granite has been contentious. Finally in 2008, with $108 million collected ground was broken on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial.
The 30 foot tall sculpture sits on four acres in the northwest corner of the Tidal Basin on the National Mall. This is a place of distinction where the memorials of former U.S. Presidents are located. Visitors will be led through an area known as the Mountain of Despair that leads them to the Stone of Hope. Here the towering likeness of Dr. King stands strong yet reflective facing the Jefferson Memorial.
There are quotes from Dr. King’s speeches and sermons inscribed chronologically on the walls. Although many hours of thought and preparation went into the selection and position of the famous remarks, there remains one final controversy. Beloved American poet, Maya Angelou and others have commented that the paraphrasing of Dr. King’s quote on the Stone of Hope is a misquote. The tone of the wording makes Dr. King appear arrogant and self absorbed. The original quote is:
“Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all the other shallow things will not matter.”
The inscription on the wall states:
"I was a drum major for justice, peace, and righteousness"
There are no plans to change the inscription.
In addition, many have said that the likeness of the sculpture bears only a slight resemblance to the man.
Martin Luther King  Jr.  Memorial Washington DC.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Washington DC.
The memorial and the grounds have been open to the public since this past August. The original date of the dedication ceremony was to have been on the 48th anniversary of Dr. King’s ‘I Have A Dream’ speech. This Sunday’s ceremony will mark the 16th anniversary of the Million Man March on the National Mall.
Not too far away from the National Mall a new generation of protesters hoping to form a social movement of their own are encamped at McPherson Square. Several major cities in the U.S. have been swarmed by the angry masses demonstrating against the poor economic conditions, wealth envy and high unemployment. Occupy DC has been active since October 1st.
Sunday will be a big day with dignitaries and celebrities gathering from all over the world to celebrate the man and his legacy. The controversies as well as celebrations are proof that his message and his teachings are still held dear today and for generations to come.
More about MLK Memorial, Maya angelou, national mall
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