Sunday, May 28, 2017

He is the only man with a Memorial that will stand side by side with the greatest Presidents of this country. After 27 years of planning, Martin Luther King has his home among the greatest political minds of this countryHe never even ran for political office but he was an incredible leader. The things he said in his speeches were timeless words of wisdom. Obama tried but did not come close to the words of wisdom from Martin; and Obama is the best that we have now. Trump doesn't say anything worth repeating. When our Presidents fail us, we need to step up like Martin did and say something worth repeating. Our many fallen soldiers died for us attempting to say and do the right thing.
On the 48th Anniversary of King’s famous speech ‘I Have A Dream” yes, on August 28th America  honored the man in granite on 4 acres of our most precious political land. It took 27 years of planning and now it is completed and ready for all to enjoy. It is built on Washington’s National Mall. Located directly across from the Jefferson Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial is directly behind it, the Washington Monument is over to the left. He is in prime monumental real estate. Quite an honor. So, the next time you are in Washington feeling compelled to protest about something, take some time to honor the good Presidents and good leaders of America.
He is honored not about the job he held but about his place in history. In 1961 he said, “For this is not a struggle for ourselves alone, it is a struggle to save the soul of America.” He was associated with the civil rights movement for black people in America but he was so much more. He said stuff that made everyone reflect and think and want to do something about it. Whatever it was that he discussed.
He was a man who stood for lofty goals. He was part of a fraternity at Boston University where he studied for his Graduate that helped him greatly financially. Getting the Memorial built was a struggle in itself. The project had to be approved by Congress and supporters wanted and got the place in the Mall where King led 25,000 people in the historic 1963 Civil Rights March. Yes. protests can be very memorable.
In 1999 a design competition was announced “Build The Dream.” 900 artists from 52 countries competed. An international jury pool decided on the final design. The prize went to the Roma Design Group from San Francisco. The design is a park setting with the main sculpture work in 3 sections. The sculpture looks like a mountain that is split apart. Why? Because in King’s “I Have A Dream “ speech he says.” We will be able to move out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope.” which is engraved in stone on the mountain of granite.
A statue of King is there rising 28 feet tall. The man chosen to create all 3 pieces holds the title of Master Sculptor in China. Yes, even our treasured Monuments are made in China and then shipped here like everything else we have. Martin even looks kind of mean like all the monuments in China of their leaders. Call me racists but I think he even has squinty oriental eyes too. I’m not too crazy about his pose too. A little starchy.

It was shipped here in 159 pieces and reassembled in its proud place. 17 hundred tons of granite. The artist tried to portray him as a “unyielding man of courage who fought to give people power. Dr. King belongs to the world. He’s a worldwide hero and his spirit is universal. “ The sculpture makes King look stern. The artist said it is based on the photo on the cover of his autobiography. Trump seems to be interested in only his personal power and wealth and is cutting important programs to help people. 
I’m surprised the project went to a man from China. I thought it would have gone to a American Black artist. But then I think of another famous thing he said, “We should not judge a person by the color of his skin but by the content of his character.” It reminds us that he was more about a crusade to bring equality to all. That is why there is an additional 450 foot wall etched with many of his other notable quotes.
He said, that is etched on the wall permanently, “I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies,” etc. We in the world have yet to conquer world hunger.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, we are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied up n a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” We have yet to stop injustice in the world.
They even took the time to carefully plan the landscaping to have meaning. Planted were 165 Cherry Blossom Trees to signify the week Dr. King was assassinated. They should be in bloom that time of the year. Another symbolic coincidence is the address. 1964 Independence Avenue. That was the year President Johnson signed the Civil Rights Legislation.
It took so long to be built because of lack of funding. The government donated the land. The foundation had to raise most of the money to build the Memorial privately. $120 Million dollars needed to be donated. His family was not so generous. They charged the foundation $800,000 dollars to license King’s image and words to use on fundraising materials.
This Memorial Day  weekend take  a day to reflect on how far our nation and the world still have not learned from his voice.

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