Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Happy Inauguration Day.
In honor of yesterday’s events, I am posting a few photos from my recent trip to Washington D.C. This was the first time I’ve visited the relatively new MLK, Jr. Memorial. I’m disappointed to say that I agree with some of the comments I’d read about it when it first opened, although I tried to approach it with an open mind. I found it to be a bit cold. The expression on King’s face and the crossed arms may be meant to convey strength, authority and dignity, but instead I felt a sense of remoteness. For someone who was so dynamic, I found the statue of him to be very static and rigid. I also thought the white stone was an odd, and possibly unfortunate, choice of material and the site itself was very stark. Personally, I think King deserves a better memorial than he has received.
The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial next to King’s is quite a bit larger, very lovely and filled with rich detail. The contrasting textures of the rough hewn stone, the patinaed metal reliefs and sculptures, the leaves ablaze with fall color and the sound and energy of falling water make for a very rich experience.
I am including a quote from the FDR memorial about civil rights from 1940. It fits right into the continuum of women’s suffrage, the struggle for civil rights beginning in the 60’s and the fight for marriage equality. The movement continues. There is still so much work to be done, alongside those who are fighting for their rights and on behalf of those who cannot speak for themselves. For me, that includes not only people, but the entire environment that sustains all life and which must be protected.
As Dr. Seuss wisely put it:
“I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees. I speak for the trees for the trees have no tongues.”