Martin Luther King Memorial Opens Today

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I think it's only appropriate that this happens this weekend as peaceful protests occur all over the world, fighting for equality and strength of the people to make change:

President Barack Obama will provide the words and Aretha Franklin the song Sunday for the long-delayed dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial.

Some 50,000 people are expected to converge on Washington's National Mall to witness the official welcoming of the first monument to honor an African-American to the grounds dotted with stone tributes to presidents and war heroes.

More than 250,000 people had been anticipated for the memorial's originally scheduled Aug. 28 dedication, which was postponed because of Hurricane Irene.

The nearly two-month delay and the fact that thousands of people already have visited the tranquil 4-acre monument of stone, greenery and trees along the northwest edge of Washington's Tidal Basin won't take the luster off Sunday's festivities, advocates said.

"It's still fresh," said Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., a civil rights icon and a King protege. "I'm excited. And I know many, many people still plan to come from Dr. King's hometown, from Atlanta, and from the heart of the Deep South, where he was best known."

The memorial is not without its detractors, but that's true of many of these memorials. And as Rep. John Lewis, a contemporary and friend to King, says on Saturday's Up with Chris Hayes, there's still much work to be done to achieve racial equality.

However, for today, let's just recognize the embodiment of the movement who stood together, who marched, who believed in non-violent protest because "the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” Because that's a concept that we must embrace still to achieve the change we need.


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