martin luther king jr. memorial dedication scheduled this weekend in washington

This weekend in Washington D.C., after many years of planning and sculpting, the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial will finally be dedicated at a formal ceremony in West Potomac Park: Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial to be dedicated Sunday.

The dedication was originally scheduled on August 28, the 48th anniversary of King's "I Have a Dream" speech, but those plans were derailed by Hurricane Irene. However, this weekend still seems appropriate -- on this day in 1964, the civil rights icon was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Sunday's festivities will include a keynote address by President Obama and a music performance by Aretha Franklin. The day will also feature speeches from members of the King family, Dan Rather, John Lewis, Rev. Al Sharpton and Rev. Jesse Jackson. Here's some information on the dedication, if you're actually in D.C. and would like to attend:
The dedication is free. Tickets are not required. People can also bring their own picnic blankets and chairs.

Gates open at 6 a.m., and spectators can access the West Potomac Park public viewing area via four gates on Independence Avenue SW.

The ceremonies are scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. with an hour-long “Morning Joy” public music program, hosted by journalist and commentator Roland S. Martin.

The dedication program, moderated by "PBS NewsHour's" Gwen Ifill, is set to begin at 9 a.m. in the paved forecourt of the memorial.

That part of the festivities is not open to the public, but will be telecast on the big screens on site and live by some TV networks.
This memorial has been the target of some criticism and controversy over the fact that a Chinese artist, master sculptor Lei Yixin, was chosen as the lead sculptor of the monument. I wonder if his detractors will be at the dedication. But I honestly couldn't care less. For full coverage of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, go to the Washington Post dedicated site here.

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