Stone of hope

We were happy to be able to check out the newly opened (but not yet dedicated, thanks to Hurricane Irene) Martin Luther King Jr. memorial while in DC.  It was a gorgeous evening--my favorite time between sunset and dark.

This is the entrance out of which that middle part becomes this:

the stone of hope with MLK facing across the pond to Thomas Jefferson (a little irony?). There are a handful of MLK quotes on the surrounding interior wall like this one:

When we lived in Washington DC, our architect friend called from the other side of the country and asked me to go to a certain point on the tidal basin, across from the Jefferson Memorial, and take a few photos. His firm was submitting a design for the competition for the Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial that was slated to be located there and they wanted a few more visuals of the area.  Fast forward a decade+ and it was really amazing to see how the memorial ended up (though not created by our friend's firm after all).

On the other side of this statue is a paraphrased quote (I was a drum major for justice peace and righteousness) that has stirred some controversy; Maya Angelou said it makes MLK sound like a twit when the lengthier passage demonstrates his truer humility. I do like the longer quote better but, of course, that wouldn't have fit on the statue.

Either way, it's a lovely tribute on the whole.  Jefferson + FDR + MLK + Lincoln are not bad company for an evening walk.