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Family Honors Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr.

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Over this holiday weekend people have been flocking to D.C .to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., and family members and friends of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebrated by laying a wreath at his memorial on the National Mall.

King would have been 83 years old this year, an anniversary that's celebrated by more than his relatives. The day brought people from hundreds of miles away to Washington, D.C.

After laying a wreath at his father's memorial, Martin Luther King III told a small gathering of people that his father's last living birthday wasn't a celebration about the civil rights leader.

"After singing, 'Happy Birthday,' they were planning for what was called the poor people's campaign, where he wanted to bring together poor blacks and whites and Native Americans and Americans from all walks of life, to say to our nation's policymakers, that we really demand the right to decent jobs with decent pay," he says.

This year is the first year in which the memorial is open on Martin Luther King Jr. day, but the occasion also brings up a controversy that has surrounded the momument since it opened. Critics say a quote from the civil rights leader on the north side of the memorial was taken out of context. But Eddi Davis, who traveled from Florida to see the memorial, says the statue is perfect. 

 

"The man still looks like he dreaming to me. It looks like he's alive, he's trying to make history," he syas. "It's coming. He was a wonderful man." 

As for the controversy, the Park Service has been ordered by the U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to change the quote in the next month. The civil rights leader's son says he supports the decision.

"It could be confusing. For us today, no, but for generations yet unborn," he says. "They may not understand, but I'm sure that when this is done that everyone who comes will understand who and what Martin Luther King Jr. meant in terms of what he said about himself."

The president of the memorial's foundation says they are still in initial stages of redesigning the quote, and he's still not sure that the quote can be changed without damaging the monument.  

 

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