Hurricane Irene promises to ruin everyone's weekend plans, to say the least, and the storm has already started by delaying Sunday's Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial event, pushing the event to September or October.
A 30-foot statute of the late civil rights leader was to be unveiled in Washington D.C., and roughly 300,000 people were expected to turn up for the following five-day celebrations. But the event's organizers said public safety comes first, the Daily Mail reported.
The hurricane, which has been assaulting the Bahamas and Florida, is expected to continue winding up the East Coast and hit the major cities of Boston, New York and Philadelphia over the weekend.
Organizers said they hope to have the memorial open for Friday and Saturday, but said the official dedication, which was supposed to coincide with the 48th anniversary of King's I Have a Dream speech, will have to be postponed.
But Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation President and CEO Harry Johnson maintained that the dedication will go as planned, despite the hurricane, as President Barack Obama is expected to attend and the date cannot be moved.
The formal dedication of the memorial was scheduled for 11 a.m. Sunday.
King, who was assassinated in Memphis, Tenn., in 1968, is the first person of color to be honored with a memorial on the Mall.