Construction To Start For King Memorial | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Construction To Start For King Memorial

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People have been trying to bring a Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial to the National Mall for more than 30 years. It's now closer than ever to construction.

Halfway between the Jefferson and Lincoln memorials and overlooking the tidal basin, Christine Farris, King's sister, marvels at the site of the future memorial to her brother and the civil rights movement. "What a day, what a dream," said Farris, the flicker of her brother's voice in her own.

Farris remembers her brother's leadership and modesty. "He would, I think, he would say 'no, don't do this for me,'" said Farris. "But we have to do it, because generations yet unborn need to know about Martin Luther King Jr."

Construction of the memorial was delayed because the National Park Service wanted additional security measures included in the design. Those changes have been made, and construction should begin in a couple weeks. Two 30-foot granite peaks will create a walkway symbolizing passage through the civil rights movement. A sculpture of King will emerge from a third stone, a reference to a famous line in his 1963 "I Have a Dream" speech, where he proclaimed, "we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope."

The memorial will cost $120 million, and the foundation building it is still trying to raise the last $14 million.

Sabri Ben -Achour reports...

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