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MLK National Monument Commemoration
A photo tour of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Commemoration in Washington D.C. on October 16, 2011.

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About 1.5 million people are estimated to have visited the memorial's 30-foot-tall statue of King and its granite walls where 14 of his quotations are carved in stone since it opened in August. The memorial is the first on the National Mall honoring a black American.

(Bryan Llenas, iPhone 4S)

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The sculpture of King with his arms crossed appears to emerge from a stone extracted from a mountain. It was carved by Chinese artist Lei Yixin. 

 

(Bryan Llenas, iPhone 4S)

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The element of the memorial which truly captures Dr. King’s legacy is the Inscription Wall – this element transforms a mere monument into a living memorial. Fourteen of Dr. King’s most notable quotes are engraved on a 450-foot crescent shaped granite wall.

(Caption: http://www.mlkmemorial.org Photo: Bryan Llenas, iPhone 4S)

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Edna Washington, of Memphis, Tenn., holds up a portrait of Martin Luther King, Jr. during the dedication of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial, in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
(AP2011)

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This memorial is not designed to be experienced in a single way with one single message, but rather it is to have a broad accessibility, appealing to all of the senses with diverse and overlapping themes.

(Caption: http://www.mlkmemorial.org Photo: Bryan Llenas, iPhone 4S)

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On the visible side of the stone, the theme of hope is presented, with the text from King's famed 1963 speech cut sharply into the stone: "Out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope." On the other side are inscribed these words: "I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness”, a statement suggested by Dr. King himself when describing how he would like to be remembered.

(Caption: http://www.mlkmemorial.org Photo: Bryan Llenas, iPhone 4S )

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. buttons sold by "The Button Lady," Bernice Staffor-Turner.  

(Photo: Bryan Llenas, iPhone 4S)

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"The Button Lady" sold 3 for ten dollars. She told her customers it was "History on a Button."

(Caption: http://www.mlkmemorial.org Photo: Bryan Llenas, iPhone 4S )

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At the entry portal, two stones are parted and a single stone wedge is pushed forward toward the horizon; the missing piece of what was once a single boulder.

(Bryan Llenas, iPhone 4S)

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CORRECTS DAY -A woman raises her hand toward the sky as gospel music is performed during the dedication of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial, in Washington, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2012. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

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"I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness”, a statement suggested by Dr. King himself when describing how he would like to be remembered.

(Caption: http://www.mlkmemorial.org Photo: Bryan Llenas, iPhone 4S )

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(Caption: http://www.mlkmemorial.org Photo: Bryan Llenas, iPhone 4S )

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General Larry Platt, a Civil Rights Veteran, wears the same button he wore on his March on Washington in August 28, 1963. Platt traveled from Atlanta, Georgia to be there that day.

(Photo: Bryan Llenas, iPhone 4S)

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A woman prays with the crowd at the end of the MLK National Memorial festivities on Sunday, October 16 in Washington D.C.

(Photo: Bryan Llenas)

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An estimated 50,000 people showed up and enjoyed the festivities. Organizers were initially expecting upwards of 250,000 on the original commemoration of the MLK National Monument on August 28th.

(Photo: Bryan Llenas, iPhone 4S)

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An estimated 50,000 people showed up and enjoyed the festivities. Organizers were initially expecting upwards of 250,000 on the original commemoration of the MLK National Monument on August 28th.

(Photo: Bryan Llenas, iPhone 4S)

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CORRECTS DAY - Portraits of Martin Luther King, Jr. are held aloft during the dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2012. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

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The quotes selected are those which are most representative Dr. King’s universal and timeless messages of Justice, Democracy, Hope and Love. None of the inscriptions are from King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, for several reasons. Primarily, the entire memorial design is derived from King’s most memorable speech; given the limited room for sharing his message and the breadth of his work, the overall design itself is the mark of respect for the moving words from 1963.

(Caption: http://www.mlkmemorial.org Photo: Bryan Llenas, iPhone 4S )

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General Larry Platt looks onto the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial for the first time.

(iPhone 4S)

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President Barack Obama speaks during the dedication ceremony of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2011, on the National Mall in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
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President Barack Obama, center, his daughter Malia Obama, left, and Harry Johnson, President and CEO of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Foundation, to his right, look up at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, as King family members and the first family look on Sunday, Oct. 16, 2011, on the National Mall in Washington. From right are Marion Robinson, first lady Michelle Obama and Sasha Obama.(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
(AP2011)

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The Washington Monument is seen beside a video about Martin Luther King, Jr. as it is shown on a large screen during the dedication of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial in Washington Sunday, Oct. 16, 2012. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
(AP2011)

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A large crowd fills the approximate 10,000 chairs at the dedication of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012. Crowds began to gather at dawn at the memorial site, just to the southeast of the steps where King delivered his historic "I Have a Dream" speech. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)
(AP2011)

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Two strangers pray together at the end of the commemoration as the whole crowd stood and held hands.  

(Caption: http://www.mlkmemorial.org Photo: Bryan Llenas, iPhone 4S)

MLK National Monument Commemoration

A photo tour of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Commemoration in Washington D.C. on October 16, 2011.

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