A memorial for Martin Luther King was inaugurated on Sunday, October 16, at the Mall, south of the White House in Washington. This is the first monument to honor such a prestigious African-American personality.
Hundreds of thousands of people came to pay tribute to Martin Luther King, a great defender of the rights of African Americans. For President Barack Obama, the message of Martin Luther King still resonates in today's struggles.
The ceremony was to be held in August on the occasion of the 48th anniversary of King's speech of the Nobel Peace Prize on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, but Hurricane Irene had forced organizers to postpone the inauguration, which took place instead on a beautiful sunny day.
Aretha Franklin was among the celebrities, as well as Stevie Wonder, Diahan Carroll and Sheryl Crow, who attended the inauguration alongside the aristocracy of the fight for civil rights: Jesse Jackson, Andrew Young, Al Sharpton and many others were there.
Thousands of people, mostly black, had invaded the lawns of the Mall to listen to songs, poems and speeches paying tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King.
Among the speakers, Barack Obama, who, accompanied by his wife and two daughters, visited the Memorial: an imposing statue of the activist, 9 meters high and carved from a block of white granite.
In his speech, the U.S. President said that Martin Luther King would have sympathy, with the "outraged" today. Barack Obama ended his speech by singing the national anthem with the crowd of civil rights activists: We Shall Overcome.