Ground Is Broken for King Memorial in Capital On the National Mall in Washington, D.C., thousands attend the groundbreaking for the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial. President Bush, Maya Angelou, and Oprah Winfrey were among those speaking at the ceremony. The memorial is scheduled to open in 2008.

Ground Is Broken for King Memorial in Capital

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On the National Mall in Washington, D.C. this morning, a moment long awaited.

Dr. MAYA ANGELOU (Poet): Look where we've all come from, moving out of darkness. Moving toward the light.


That's the poet Maya Angelou. She, Jessie Jackson and President Bush were among thousands who attended the groundbreaking ceremony for the Martin Luther King, Jr., National Memorial.

President GEORGE W. BUSH: The King Memorial will stand on a piece of ground between the Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials. And by its presence in this place, it will unite the men who declared the promise of America and defended the promise of America with the man who redeemed the promise of America.

NORRIS: The four acre site along the tidal basin sits a half mile away from the Lincoln Memorial where Dr. King delivered his I Have a Dream speech in 1963. The memorial park will feature an imposing boulder, designed to evoke the mountain of despair King spoke of in that speech. And cut from that boulder will be a stone of hope sculpted with King's image.

BLOCK: Also in the works, waterfalls flowing in syncopated rhythm intended to call to mind King's style of speaking. It will be the first memorial on the National Mall to honor an African American civilian. And for many, today was the day to remember Martin Luther King, Jr., and what he stood for.

Dr. YOLANDA DENISE KING: Our father was a king. Not the kind who wore a crown, but one who crowned a movement. A movement illuminated by a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its freedom.

President BILL CLINTON: I suspect if he were here speaking at his own dedication, Dr. King would remind us that the best way to honor him is to pursue his dream and embrace his means. To combat terror and create a world with more partners and fewer terrorists.

Ms. OPRAH WINFREY: I live in a state of reverence for where I've come from and for the price that was paid for me to be here. Because he was the seed of the free, Dr. King, I get to be the blossom.

BLOCK: That's Oprah Winfrey, Bill Clinton and Yolanda Denise King, daughter of Martin Luther King, Jr., speaking today at the ground breaking ceremony for the King National Memorial in Washington, D.C. Construction on the $100 million dollar memorial will begin once fundraising is complete. To date, some $65 million dollars in donations have come in. The memorial is expected to open in 2008.

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