|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
|Date:||September 1, 2011|
|Contact:||Alison Zemanski, NPCA Media Relations Manager, P: 202.454.3332 OR C: 202.384.8762|
395th National Park Site Honors the Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Statement by NPCA President Tom Kiernan
“One of the most influential people in American history, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is remembered for his courageous determination for America to fulfill the promise made in the Emancipation Proclamation and the Declaration of Independence that all men and women are created equally, endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights--and his commitment to nonviolence as he pursued this goal.
“Nearly 15 years in the making, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial now provides an opportunity for visitors to the National Mall to learn more about the struggle to make civil rights for all a reality. The National Parks Conservation Association salutes the visionaries who have brought to fruition the dream of a memorial to Dr. King.
“Unveiling the memorial now, as the nation commemorates the 150th anniversaries of the U.S. Civil War, is particularly moving and meaningful. One hundred and fifty years ago, our country was just beginning the bloody conflict that resulted in the end of slavery in America.
“National parks across the country provide opportunities to learn more about our nation’s path from the Civil War to civil rights. They are the soul of America, telling our diverse stories and teaching valuable lessons about our shared heritage. They are the places we go for reflection, inspiration, and connection to our natural and cultural heritage.
“At a time of tremendous national challenges, our national parks remind us that our nation has been tested in the past, and has emerged stronger, and better prepared for the future. Together, we have a responsibility to maintain America’s stories for the next generation to enjoy.”