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MLK Memorial Opens To Public Today

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D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray previews the memorial for members of the press and other guests last week. The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial opens this week, and will be dedicated Aug. 28.
Patrick Madden
D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray previews the memorial for members of the press and other guests last week. The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial opens this week, and will be dedicated Aug. 28.

As many as a quarter of a million people are expected to attend Sunday's official dedication of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in downtown D.C.

In the meantime, organizers will open up the memorial to the public later today.

Over the weekend, visitors at the still closed-off site gave the new memorial rave reviews.

Even when viewed through a chain linked-fence, the new statue of Dr. Martin Luther King Junior evokes powerful responses.

Remarkable. Unbelievable. Overwhelming. Awesome. These are just a few of the words coming from people that were peering through the fence at the memorial Sunday.

Sandra Rawlings, who was with Dr. King when he marched on Washington in 1963, was there Sunday to get a glimpse.

"I look at the man, and then I look at the words, and then I think about America today, and that combination says he stood for justice for all," says Rawlings.

Others, such teenager Aaron Scott, only know of Dr. King through movies, books, and other media.

"It's better than the cartoons ... way better," he says.

The memorial opens to the public this morning at 11 a.m.

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