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.