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Tourists And Residents Gathered For MLK Memorial Preview

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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.

Tourists and area resident got their first preview today of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the national mall.

There is a lot to see in this $120 million tribute, but as the first group of people began to flow into the memorial, most gathered in front of the 30-foot statue of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., looked up and stared.

"It's just awesome," says Lorraine Parker-Miller, one of today's visitors. "It's very moving for me."

Miller was 18 years old in 1963 when she walked down Independence Avenue to join the March on Washington, and listen to Dr. King give that iconic speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

Although this memorial has been 25 years in the making, Miller says it was worth the wait.

"This is a dream come true," she says. "It's my dream come true, and we haven't reached where I want us to go, but it’s a step forward."

The memorial is open 10 p.m. through Thursday, and closed Friday and Saturday to prepare for the dedication Sunday morning.

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