Fewer People Expected to Turn Out for King Memorial Dedication

MLK memorialPresident Obama, civil rights activists and the family of Martin Luther King will gather Sunday on the National Mall in Washington to try again to dedicate a $120million memorial to the civil rights leader.

The same high-profile slate of speakers and performers scheduled for the Aug. 28 dedication, which was postponed because of Hurricane Irene, will be a part of the four-hour program of speeches, poems and songs.

Far fewer people are expected, however: Organizers are predicting about 50,000 people will attend, down from as many as 400,000 in August, when the dedication capped a week of events honoring the civil rights icon and fell on the 48th anniversary of King’s I Have a Dream speech.

Sunday’s ceremony will include a performance by Aretha Franklin; reflections from two of King’s children and his sister; and remarks from actress Cicely Tyson and civil rights leaders, including Rep. John Lewis, the Rev. Joseph Lowery, former United Nations ambassador Andrew Young, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.

“Although our plans have been scaled back, I am confident Sunday’s event will be momentous,” said Harry Johnson, head of the foundation raising money for the memorial.

He referred to the dedication as a “long-awaited moment in our nation’s history.”

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Source: Melanie Eversley, USA TODAY

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