The Rev. George Young, pastor of the Holy Temple Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, has given several keynote speeches during Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Black Heritage Month events. Young said the monument being dedicated during the first black American's presidency has special significance to the community, especially that it was completed and dedicated during tough economic times. He added its location on the National Mall also is meaningful to anyone who participated in or remembers the civil rights movement.
“It is a wonderful sign of the movement and appreciation for the accomplishments of people of color,” he said.
Young said he has not seen the monument, but plans to travel to Washington after the first of the year. He said he's been amazed by photos showing the different angles of it, so “I can't wait to get up there to see it. It'll be like seeing the Lincoln monument for the first time.”
For Trudgeon, who did go there on that recent cloudy Saturday afternoon, the monument is “much more powerful in real life than the pictures ever made it look.”
“The resolution in his face is so wonderful. The focus in his eyes is so wonderful,” she said. “The quotes gave me a broader perspective of him. … We can never know enough about people who have led heroic lives.”
DID YOU KNOW?
Martin Luther King Jr.
Sources: The Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Project www.mlkmemorial.org, The Washington Post and about.com.