Even though I wasn’t able to attend the dedication of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, DC when it first opened to the public August 22, 2011, seeing it on a rainy day years later in the Fall of 2016 was just as exciting and emotional for me as I’m sure it was for everyone in attendance on opening day!
The 30-foot statue of Dr. King rising out of a stone of hope, with arms folded across his chest, is simply breathtaking and captures his likeness perfectly! This monument covers 4 acres and includes 17 quotations from Dr. King’s popular speeches inscribed in granite panels by Chinese sculptor, Lei Yixin. The inspiration for the memorial design comes from a line in Dr. King’s “I HAVE A DREAM” speech:
“Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope.”
If you plan to visit the monument today in celebration of Dr. King’s legacy or have this “Must-See” national treasure on your U.S. travel bucket list, the official address of the monument is 1964 Independence Avenue, S. W., commemorating the Civil Rights Act of 1964. There is no fee to visit. The memorial is open 24 hours a day because of its outdoor setting. Bookstore, restrooms, and drinking fountains are located across the West Basin Drive near the main entrance.
While you’re in the area, located at the northwest corner of the Tidal Basin, is the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial to the northwest, and the Jefferson Memorial to the southeast that you should visit too!