Monday, November 13, 2006

Thousands Ignore National Gloom To Attend Groundbreaking In Washington, D.C. Of The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial

"Thousands gathered on the National Mall today for the groundbreaking of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, ignoring cloudy skies to celebrate the inclusion of a monument to the civil rights leader on ground largely reserved for Presidents and the veterans of major wars.

The King Memorial is the first on the National Mall honoring a black American, and will occupy a spot midway between monuments to Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln -- presidents whose contributions included the Declaration of Independence and the Emancipation Proclamation ending slavery.

It is, organizers say, a fitting spot for the man who helped force the country to make good on the promises of those other leaders.

President Bush said the monument gives the civil rights leader his "rightful place among the great Americans honored on our Mall." He said King's message of justice and liberty "continues to inspire millions across the world."

"Dr. King was on this earth just 39 years," the president said, but his ideas are "eternal."

"It belongs here," said former President Bill Clinton, who signed the legislation in 1996 authorizing the King memorial and was among a number of dignitaries and celebrities to speak at the event.

Jefferson "told us we were all created equal" and Lincoln abolished slavery, but both "left much undone," Clinton said, speaking on a stage festooned with the words democracy, justice, hope and love. King was "the voice and spirit of the movement to lift the last legal racial barriers to our more perfect union."" ...

Howard Schneider and Petula Dvorak "Dignitaries Gather for King Memorial Groundbreaking" Washington Post November 13, 2006

Resurrection City, Washington, D.C., Spring 1968

Photo credit: (c) Bill Wingell and With thanks.


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