Martin Luther King Memorial

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The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial is the newest memorial to be built in Washington D.C. The memorial was finished with construction in the summer of 2011. This memorial celebrates the life of one of the most influential leaders of the Civil Rights era, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This is a reminder of Dr. Kings’ powerful impact on the country and even the world. It was only right that a memorial was built in Washington D.C. to honor the life of this powerful man. Dr. Kings’ memorial is located on 1964 Independence Avenue. The street number represents the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that Martin Luther King had a huge role in. The vision in adding the Martin Luther King’s memorial was to have a “line of leadership” which is the combination of three different memorials--the Lincoln Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial, and now, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. The Lincoln Memorial celebrates the life and historical significance of President Abraham Lincoln. He was the President who stopped abolished slavery and his monuments the famous place where Martin Luther King gave his “I have a Dream” speech. The Jefferson Memorial honors one of the founders of the Declaration of Independence and one of the founders of the United States. Dr. Kings’ memorial is also situated in the center of Washington D.C. famous cherry blossom trees. These trees were a gift from Japan to symbolize peace. The memorials’ location is perfect because Martin Luther King envisioned peace for everyone. He hoped to spread equality as well as peace. The purpose and thought in the building of this monument could of not of been more perfect but with every perfection there is a defect and in the case of this memorial, controversy.

On the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial website there is that gives a thorough description of the monument. It tells us that Dr. King’s memorial was built right in the center of the famous cherry blossoms trees. They say that it is not a coincidence that the flowers begin to bloom around April 4, Martin Luther Kings’ assassination (About the Memorial). This is an example of kairos because the designers of this memorial knew that tourists from all over come to see these trees bloom. As the tourists come to see the first bloom, they will also be walking along Dr. King’s memorial. This is like them honoring the anniversary of his death.

The author also connects to the audience’s pathos. They describe how the monument how the monument will make the visitors feel. “The boulder is the Mountain of Despair, through which every visitor will enter, moving through the struggle as Dr. King did during his life.(About the Memorial)” The author is telling the visitor and the reader that walking through the monument is like walking with Dr. King, through everything he faced. This can give whoever goes to the monument and whoever reads this a certain emotion about the monument before they even visit the monument just from reading this. Also in the quote above, the author uses a Toulmin argument. The support the author uses to back up his claim is that certain elements of the memorial symbolize the struggle that Dr. King went through. The author assumes that upon a person’s visit to this memorial, they already know the history of Dr. King’s life and journey. They also assume that the visitor will have prior knowledge of the life of Martin Luther King, that the visitor will have an idea of what he went through. Because they included a part of Mountain of Despair and several other pieces of the monument that symbolize the struggle of Dr. King, the visitors will have an idea of what he went through.

The author discusses the choice of the creator of the monument to not include one of Dr. King’s most inspirational speeches. “The other reason for not including the Dream Speech is that it is Dr. King’s best known speech out of the hundreds he delivered. It is the most taught piece of his work in schools, and, at minimum, the history books...
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