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Tribute To Dr. King Held

Lincoln Memorial

National Park News

Secretary Dirk Kempthorne, Deputy Director Lindi L. Harvey, Regional Director Joseph Lawler and Margaret O’Dell, superintendent for the National Mall & Memorial, joined students from the District of Columbia last Friday to honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on this 79th birthday at the Department of the Interior’s South Building Auditorium. Later, about 100 students from D.C.’s Watkins Elementary School recited the entire “I Have A Dream” speech Dr. King gave on August 28, 1963 on the steps of Lincoln Memorial.  

“Having the courage to speak out today is great,” said Kempthorne. “Students as young as you are, talking about the United States, makes you strong. Always do your best in what you are working on, and continue to dream.”

“We honor Dr. King by remembering—and by celebrating—his vision and accomplishments,” said Harvey.

“Whatever your dreams are, they can come true if you believe in yourself, have courage, and stand up for what you believe,” said Lawler. “Today I want to impress upon you to keep your dreams alive.”   

“I was a little girl when Dr. King made that speech and I didn’t know then what a difference his words would make for our country, “said O’Dell. “I think Dr. King would be happy to know that young people today have their own dreams for America.”

The National Mall & Memorial Parks sponsored both the South Interior and the Lincoln Memorial observances.  At South Interior, students from Dunbar Senior High School’s vocal ensemble and Kimball Elementary School’s choir sang selections.    Students from several area public schools presented “Youth Visions,” the students' opportunity to speak about their dreams for America.

Following the Lincoln Memorial observance, the NPS placed a wreath on the steps where King gave his 1963 speech.



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