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Last Monday was the federal holiday celebrating Martin Luther King’s birthday. As I sat in the Chicago Symphony Center, enjoying the music provided by the Chicago Sinfonietta and the Apostolic Church of God Sanctuary Choir, I remembered that I spent the 2013 MLK day at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial (sculptor Lei Yixin) on the National Mall, and because it was such a beautiful day, I took a TON of pictures. So I thought I would share pix with you from that visit.
There are many details at the Memorial that cause reflection – a few that stand out include the man emerging from the granite emphasizing the resolve it took, the placement of the Mountain of Despair/Stone of Hope across from the Thomas Jefferson Memorial who authored many of the nation’s founding principles, the strong and stern features on his face, Dr. King’s hand clenching a roll of papers. These photos show both the beauty of the King Memorial and the energy of the crowd there. As you celebrate Dr. King’s legacy, I hope you will enjoy these 5* images.
- The Approach – The Dr. King Memorial is located next to the Tidal Basin, and visitors to the Memorial walk past this small body of water. I love the way the people in this scene are back lit, and you can only see their outline, as well as the sunlight coming thru the trees.
- Getting Around (Shadow) – Most people were walking to and from the Memorial, but there were bikers ferrying groups around as well. The sunlight outlined the pedi-cab, driver and guests, creating long shadows on the street.
- Inspiration From The Crusader – I am sure there is a secret to taking a shot of the walls, and creating an artistic view. This may not be the ‘artistic’ shop, but every time I read them, I reminded of what a crusader Dr. King was, and how our lives are all the better for it.
- Up Close – The day was a beautiful one, with bright blue skies. Seeing the piercing stare from the sculpture up close stops me every time.
- Reflection in the Tidal Basin – The Washington Monument is reflected in the Tidal Basin in the approach to the Dr. King Memorial. This magical scene is accentuated by the ducks out for their Sunday afternoon gathering.
- Song of Praise – While we were there, a choir arrived by bus. Once they had gathered in the plaza of the Memorial, sang a praise song, where they pointed their hands to the sky in unison on the chorus. This shot shows this hands positioned, with quotes by Dr. King as the backdrop. I loved looking at the faces in the crowd watching the singers and hands with cameras, taking pictures or videos.
- Study of the Sculpture – How many ways can you look at this sculpture – the man emerging from the mountain of despair, and see it anew? I don’t know, but I thought these images provided an opportunity:
- Study #1 – The profile of Dr. King has the sun providing a glow under the chin and along the front of the lapel
- Study #2 – The shadow on the right side of Dr. King’s face provides a nice contrast to this image.
- Study #3 – Without the shadow, the detail in the sculpture is amazing to see. I love the wrinkled brow, the veins standing out in Dr. King’s hand, the roll of papers….
- Study #4— Even through the branches of the trees, the power of the man thru this stone image comes across
View from the World War II Memorial – As I walked around the mall that Sunday, I had to admit that our nation’s capital KNOWS how to do memorials right! The memorial has a pillar and wreath for each state, and honors the 16 million who served in the war and the 400,000 who died. It was very close to the Dr. King Memorial, and serves as a grand reminder of the price paid when we are not at peace. Looking thru this portal, we see the Washington Monument and the U.S. flag.
I walked away from this memorial with a full heart, and as I reflected on Dr. King’s legacy, and was reminded of this feeling as I left the Sinfonietta event. Hope you enjoy these 5* selections!