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The centerpiece of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial is the “Stone of Hope”, a 30-foot statue of Dr. King, gazing into the horizon and concentrating on the future and hope for humanity.
The sculpture was carved from 159 granite blocks that were assembled to appear as one singular piece. There is also a 450-foot inscription wall, made from granite panels, that is inscribed with 14 excerpts of King’s sermons and public addresses to serve as living testaments of his vision of America.
Martin Luther King was not a member of the nation’s ruling elite. He was a firebrand who advocated civil disobedience and sought to subvert the social order of the day.
But his genius was his ability to present himself as heir to the founders of America’s constitutional principles. He is now loved by many people who consider his words and actions a blessing for the entire humanity.
Martin Luther King is to become one of only a very few Americans to be remembered on Washington’s National Mall.
King said his dream was “a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed. We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal.”
Now half a century later, Martin Luther King’s moral and political contribution to America is remembered in stone a short walk from where he made that momentous speech.
He presented his politics as fundamentally American and America accepted him as a true heir to its founding principles.
We must all learn to live together as brothers. Or we will all perish together as fools.
Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a permanent attitude.
Hate begets hate; violence begets violence.
There is within human nature an amazing potential for goodness.
It may well be that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition is not the glaring noisiness of the so-called bad people, but the appalling silence of the so-called good people.
True peace is not merely the absence of tension, but it is the presence of justice and brotherhood.
But we simply cannot have peace in the world without mutual respect.
Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.
People are often surprised to learn that I am an optimist. They know how often I have been jailed, how frequently the days and nights have been filled with frustration and sorrow, how bitter and dangerous are my adversaries…They fail, however, to perceive the sense of affirmation generated by the challenge of embracing struggle and surmounting obstacles.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”