The Dream Lives On: The Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial

July 29, 2011

Turner, in a joint venture with McKissack & McKissack and Gilford Corporation, is putting the final touches on the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial in Washington, DC for its dedication on August 28, 2011.

The ceremony promises to be a historic event with an anticipated 400,000 people coming to see the memorial during the full week of activities commemorating Dr. King’s life. World leaders, civil rights pioneers and many citizens, who embrace the teachings of Dr. King, will assemble for the long-awaited celebration and remembrance. The dedication will culminate with President Obama placing a last item into a time capsule at the entrance of the Memorial, which is a tribute to Dr. King’s legacy and a monument to freedom, opportunity and justice.

The Memorial is located on a four-acre site south of the U.S. National World War II Memorial (built by Tompkins Builders) and north of the Jefferson Memorial and the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial.

The Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial includes 337 structural piles; a 2,350 cubic foot, 194 ton granite inscription wall; 47,000 square feet of granite paving; and, a 30 foot Stone of Hope/Mountain of Despair sculpture. The Monument includes 185 Yoshino Cherry trees, 32 American Elm trees and 16,835 Big Blue Liriope plantings.    

The Memorial conveys four fundamental themes of Dr. King's life: justice, democracy, hope, and love, which are captured in the quotes on the inscription walls.  The Memorial sculptural design was based on the words “…we will be able to hew out of the Mountain of Despair, a Stone of Hope”  from Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech given at the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963, exactly 48 years before this ceremony. 

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