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August 20th, 2011
06:23 AM ET

Building the Dream: The MLK Memorial

Next Sunday, August 28, the dedication ceremony will take place for the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial in Washington.
Today in the Newsroom, I'll be taking you on a virtual tour and giving you an interactive look at the sculpture of the civil rights leader.
To check these out yourself, go to the official website, or click here for a panoramic view you can control.
Interested in taking part in the dedication week? Here's the official website about the scheduled events.
Also be sure to visit our section at CNN.com devoted to stories about Dr. King.
What are your thoughts on the new memorial? What does it mean to you? Send us an iReport or join our discussions at Facebook or Twitter.
And be sure to tune in for our special coverage of the dedication next weekend on CNN Sunday Morning.


Filed under: Josh Levs
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. michael Wills

    Dr King's statue is not a statue yet a monument. A statue stands alone and because its being erected from stone its considered a monument.

    August 20, 2011 at 8:28 am |
  2. Dave

    The MLK memorial looks fantastic. So how much did it cost the taxpayers? Is this really a good time for that kind of spending? You've got to be kidding.

    August 20, 2011 at 10:59 am |
  3. Joan

    Martin Luther King memorial in DC?? Why?? He already has a legal holiday and now he is in stone–a private citizen–not
    even a politician. I lived during his time, he wasn't that big a deal. and admired him, but are our tax dollars paying for this? It's over-kill. He was a pastor who stood-up for rights, but so did many other citizens. Put the statue in his hometown or state, but not in our capital. He's with the Presidents' memorials! Ridiculous!

    August 20, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
  4. Charlene

    Josh. Excellent coverage on the MLK Memorial. I don't think enough people understand the importance and significance of this. Because of another person's ultimate sacrifice, we all can live a life that many didn't think possible and of course many never got a chance to see. I am 35 years old and have heard and seen many speeches and shows about the efforts of Dr. King and I can say that it NEVER gets old to me. I am humbled every time I see President Obama, Xerox CEO Ursula Burns, Oprah Winfrey and even Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin who have ALL benefited from the unselfish acts of not only Dr. King, but all of those nameless individuals who stood and fought for not just Civil Rights but Human Rights. I am truly grateful and proud to live to see the MLK Memorial finally come to fruition. There is still much work to do...

    August 20, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
  5. Bill Rowe

    Did the sculptor of the MLK statue ever even see Martin Luther King?

    August 20, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
  6. bob

    done to appease the black community, nothing more...

    August 20, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
  7. Sun

    This has been going on for 15 years so the money didn't come from taxpayers during the recession. I am so amazed at how stupid Americans are with regard to their own history. I am very happy as a non-American that this has been done. Would you rather bob and Joan that they make a memorial to President George Bush Jr.? The memorials of the other presidents all have one thing in common with this – the important contributions they made to USA. In the last 150 years nobody has made any serious lasting contributions to the American landscape as Dr. King has.....

    August 22, 2011 at 9:10 am |
  8. Jimmy Crack Corn

    I get tired of the racism and race card played in this nation. I get tired of those who wrap themselves in Dr. King, those black preachers of old, the biggest racist who were King himself would rebuke. To the person who believes that the Mall should be reserved only for Presidents, and not a private citizen, you are wrong. My dream is the same dream as King's but I believe that time is reserved for Heaven and Christ where truly the color of skin will not matter. I am a proud southern man, honors his confederate ancestors, but strongly believes in Kings Dream. I wish all people would realize we are part of one race, the one God created, the human race. This man gave his life for all of us, all black and white. We are Americans, both races, and this is our land, this is our history, and this is hopefully our legacy too. If not, we will surely perish as a people. We are suppose to the greatest nation on earth, it is about time we act like it.

    Thank you Dr. King.

    Sun, you tell them!

    August 22, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
  9. Elizabeth Longo

    As an American with hispanic heritage, I was so overwhelmed with emotion and thrilled about the MLK Memorial. I feel that he represented all people of all color and races for equality. Every time I hear his famous "I have a dream" speech it sends chills down my spine and tears in my eyes. I feel he was one of the most courageous heroes in our history . He is one part of why I am always so proud to be an American. The coverage I saw by Josh was amazing and thorough. I felt so lucky to have caught that program. Sunday will be an amazing moment and I would love to be there in person. I will though be watching it on CNN!!! Thank you Josh for making my day!!!

    August 22, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
  10. R Hayes

    120 Million dollars for a controversial statue, during hard times,when people are losing the jobs and their homes is the stupidest waste of money, ever! I, now ,believe that the insane asylum inmates are running the Washington Congress and The White House. Money is flowing out of Washington official's faucets, like water!

    August 23, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
  11. RetVet

    'One of a number of Incredible Men/Women' from his time! Maybe, from this, others may draw strength to stand up for what is right(for all)....not just the few!

    August 24, 2011 at 10:51 am |
  12. Lana

    I think this monument is wonderful people need to STOP and I repeat STOP BEING IGNORANT!!!!! This is a great thing to be in Washington DC because it does represent diversity and I don't think they took this out of taxpayers money I would love to visit there one day. People are so wrapped into the amount of money spent talking about jobs its not even about that its about MLK

    August 24, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
  13. Lana

    Also before commenting think first before you comment on something research into it don't just speak on something don't know anything about

    August 24, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
  14. Jane...

    This tribute to a man who through peaceful ways, brought to this country, something that yet plagues it...The racism, in this nation had been quiet, so to speak...But, now it slowly comes out of its hiding places, and slithers across our nation once again.. Even here, the words do not mask the truths of all who claim silly reasons for this monument to not be here...Seems once again Martin will stand against the bigots and the haters...Only this time, there can be no shot fired to end his stance against what democracy should proclaim each and every day...We Are All Created Equal... Washington is the greatest place of all for this majestic monument to be...Perhaps, it will awaken the men who now rule in our government who represent us all, to realize, the game they play today is not a game of no; but a game of racism... I salute and praise this man named Martin for his courage and his gracious heart-felt gift of Freedom...Let it ring for us all.....

    August 27, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
  15. RTB

    I believe that the concept for the memorial to Martin is a good one. The idea to honor the great soul is more than appropriate, we must show our appreciation. However, the statue itself is terrible. He looks more like Mussolini, standing with his arms crossed looks a bit menacing as did the Fascist dictator. POOR TASTE. Martin Luther King was a man of peace not a tyrant.

    August 30, 2011 at 8:57 am |
  16. DORIS

    to all of the joan- dave- r hayes and especially bob's 1. The memorial was started over 10 years ago before the ecomony was so bad 2. Dr. King was a man that gave his life for a cause he beleived in and i ask you how many more of you would do the same.3. bob the fact that you could make a stupid statement such as being done to appease the blacks tells me the CALIBER OF PERSON YOU ARE. Maybe you should read up on MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. and you will see that all nationalities marched and some gave the utimate sacarifice of their life Blacks and Whites. it is people like you all the makes this country look bad. YES WE CAN.

    September 10, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  17. Nyabinghi

    King is a great asset to the world and it’s good to remember what he did and how he did it (Non-Violently). As a people we need to remember and glorify other Africans living in America who contributed to changing the world.

    October 15, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
  18. G-Man

    Symbolism is important. It defines our identities. To have the Dr. King memorial in D.C. is uniquely important. Eventually, those who oppose it will be unveiled as the rationalized racist they are. Opposition to this memorial, that was paid for with private money, proves that time does not heal all. Time cannot cure the societal cancer of bigotry.

    October 15, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
  19. jose toad

    I think the monument is UGLY in every way. Those who have worked on this project have done a terrible job and a huge disservice to MLK. Imagine if the same had been done to Lincoln's Memorial.

    October 15, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  20. Rosa

    Hilariously, the King family charged the foundation that built this monument $800,000 to use the excerpts from King’s speeches and writings in its fundraising effort. The statue was carved by Lei Yixin, a Red sculptor and defender of Mao Zedong who has also carved statues of the communist mass murderer. Financial documents revealed that the foundation paid $761,160 in 2007 to Intellectual Properties Management Inc., an entity run by the King family. They also showed that a $71,700 "management" fee was paid to the family estate in 2003. I think Martin Luther King Jr. would be embarassed! The money could have been used for so many other things. I don't think Dr Kings dream included the family profiting or a monument, Be pourd of MLK but shamed by his greedy family..YES WE CAN! Oh by the way, everytime you hear the " I Have A Dream" speech the family MUST be paid!!!! While MLK may have been a great man his family is greedy and living off HIS dream!!!

    October 16, 2011 at 10:06 am |
  21. Pat

    MLK has been memorialized in many ways already. I would think the $120,000,000 raised for this monument would have been much better spent in offering scholarships to deserving "black, white and any race" that may need help in obtaining an education. Why waste that much money on a rock when MLK the III himself, in his speech, complained that the dream had not been realized because so many people of color are in still going to prison instead of to college. I think $120,000,000 dollars could go a long way toward changing that. And who's fault is it that they are going to prision. They have the choice to stay in school, dress nice, and listen to their teachers. But instead the choice is made to wear their pants down to their knees, act like hoodlums and not devote themselves to their education. It's no ones fault but their own.

    October 16, 2011 at 6:58 pm |

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