The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the National Mall in Washington D.C., has officially opened to the public. The memorial will be formally dedicated on Aug. 28 — the anniversary of his 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech — and will cap a five-day celebration that could draw as many as 250,000 people.
Located near the Tidal Basin, where the cherry blossoms bloom, the $120 million memorial to the civil rights leader will be the only one on the mall that doesn’t honor a president or a war. Visitors will enter through a split boulder, called the Mountain of Despair, and walk out onto an open plaza. There they will discover a 30-foot granite sculpture of King and a wall etched with excerpts from his speeches.
“Martin Luther King is not only a hero of Americans, he also is a hero of the world and he pursued the universal dream of the people of the world,” Lei Yixin, the Chinese master sculptor who created the King statue, told USA Today.
There is no cost for admission to the memorial.