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King Memorial A Year and a Half Away

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Friday is the 46th Anniversary of the March on Washington and Martin Luther King Junior's famous "I Have a Dream" speech. Fundraisers for a memorial to King on the National Mall say they're very close to beginning construction.

Right off of Independence Avenue, in a shaded spot overlooking the Tidal Basin, we can see the Jefferson Memorial across the water. Not far from here, almost 46 years ago, Martin Luther King Junior's words rang out... "We will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope."

King's words will be manifested in stone here, the site of the future King Memorial. Two granite peaks, 28 feet tall, will create an austere walkway symbolizing passage through the civil rights movement.

Harry Johnson is the president of the King Memorial foundation. Johnson explains that once a visitor passes through, they will see King emerging from a third rock, "Coming away from the civil rights movement, actually standing out, emerging from the struggle. So Dr. King is symbolized as the stone of hope."

Two hundred cherry blossom trees will be added to the site. The memorial is waiting on a building permit from the Parks Service, which had security concerns. The sculpture itself is about 80% complete, it'll be shipped to D.C. and the remaining work will be done on site. It could be completed in as little as one and a half years.

Sabri Ben-Achour reports...

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