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Ground Is Broken for King Memorial in Capital

On the National Mall in Washington, D.C., thousands attend the groundbreaking for the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial. President Bush, Maya Angelou, and Oprah Winfrey were among those speaking at the ceremony. The memorial is scheduled to open in 2008.

The tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr. will be on the northeast edge of the Tidal Basin, on a four-acre site not far from the Lincoln Memorial, where King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech in 1963.

"The King Memorial will span a piece of ground between the Jefferson and Lincoln memorials," President Bush said, "and by its presence in this place, it will unite the men who declared the promise and defended the promise of America, with the man who redeemed the promise of America."

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The memorial park will feature an imposing boulder, designed to evoke the "mountain of despair" King spoke of in his historic speech delivered on the Mall. And cut from that boulder will be a "stone of hope," sculpted with King's image.

The display will also includes waterfalls that flow in a syncopated rhythm, intended to call to mind King's style of speaking. It will be the first memorial on the National Mall to honor an African-American civilian.

Construction on the $100-million memorial will begin once fundraising is complete. To date, some $65 million in donations have come in. The memorial is expected to open in 2008.

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