Obama dedicates Martin Luther King Jr memorial

Washington (dpa) – US President Barack Obama dedicated the Martin Luther King, Jr Memorial in Washington Sunday, in a speech linking the civil rights leader’s legacy to current issues facing Americans.
Obama called on the crowd, assembled at the new monument situated in West Potomac Park, south-west of the National Mall, to “fix our economy so that every child gets a world class education.”
He also referenced the ongoing social inequality protests in the US – calling for respect on all sides in that debate – and America’s immigrant heritage.
“Let us have compassion towards the immigrant family with the knowledge that most of us are only a few generations removed from similar hardships,” Obama said.
The monument, designed by Chinese artist Lei Yixin and composed of Chinese granite, contains a stone wall engraved with 14 notable quotes by the late civil right leader, and a 30-foot-tall statue bearing his likeness.
According to a report in the Washington Post, Lei and 10 university art professors worked together on the monument. Lei sculpted King’s face and hands, the paper said.
The monument was financed by grants from corporations, foundations, private individuals, and governments.
It is the first of an African-American on or near the National Mall in the US capital, the monument’s website said.
Author: Michael Scaturro