The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial was designed to evoke a symbolic journey through struggle into hope. To enter the memorial, visitors pass through a 30-foot boulder, inscribed with the famous words from King's iconic 1963 "I Have a Dream" speech: "Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope." Just beyond the entrance, one wedge of rock distinctly emerges from the boulder — the "Stone of Hope" that stands at the centerpiece of the memorial — a contemplative statue of King overlooking the Tidal Basin. A 450-foot crescent-shaped granite wall surrounds this Stone of Hope, inscribed with quotations by King representing themes of justice, democracy, hope and love. This 2011 tribute to King's legacy is the first major memorial on the National Mall to honor an African-American and a leader who was not an American president.

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