A memorial to Martin Luther King Jr., which opened to the public on Monday in Washington D.C., has become a new attraction.
The first look of the slain civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., triggered tears for many visitors as it became difficult for them to explain what they were feeling.
The making of the memorial took more than 25 years and is set amid four acres of cherry trees on the northwest shore of the Tidal Basin, between the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials and near the FDR Memorial.
Gray-haired Madeline Coleman was one of the first in line when the gates to the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial were opened. The memorial reminded her that the first time she saw him was 48 years ago on the National Mall.
I mean it was just so emotional, first of all people we were just crying, a CBS report quoted Coleman. I think because there was just so much anger in a lot of people that there rose hope that things were going to get better.
Hundreds of people were present at the memorial on Monday as it opened on a breezy summer morning.
Strangers were talking to each other; they swapped cameras to click pictures of each other at the memorial.
But the memorial triggered tears for many visitors, as they were overcome by the sight of King’s face.
The $120-million tribute to the civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., has been in the works for more than 25 years.
Chinese sculptor, Lei Yixin, won the contract of building King’s statue in 2006, after which he devoted all his time in the project. He collected all the photos and videos of King to better understand his life and spirit.
After more than four years, they are still on my walls. I look at him and feel about him every day, he told Xinhua.
Even until now, I still can't believe the fact that they had chosen me to make a sculpture for such an important figure in American history, he said. I think it's going
to change my life.
The opening day of the memorial coincides with the 48th anniversary of King's I have a dream speech that was delivered at the Lincoln Memorial.