Visitors gaze at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the Mall in Washington,… (Jacquelyn Martin / Associated…)
President Obama, civil rights leaders and entertainers will dedicate the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C., on Sunday, an event that was postponed in late August because of Hurricane Irene.
Gates open at 6 a.m. to the free ceremony at West Potomac Park that's open to the public, with no tickets required. The memorial near the Jefferson Memorial features two huge stone boulders that give way to a huge stone-carved likeness of King.
The Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation released a list of participants and ceremony details Tuesday. The program begins at 9 a.m. with comments by Julian Bond, Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), Marian Wright Edelman, former Ambassador Andrew Young, Rev. Jesse Jackson and others plus members of the King family and journalist Dan Rather. Jennifer Holliday and poet Nikki Giovanni are among the musical and spoken-word performers.
The official dedication at 11 a.m. with Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will be broadcast on large-screen TVs set up in the park. More dignitaries and celebrities -- singer Aretha Franklin, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and others -- are expected to participate, according to the foundation's statement.
The memorial, which has been open since mid-August, marks the 395th site added to the National Park Service. The original ceremony was scheduled Aug. 28 on the 48th anniversary of King's "I Have a Dream" speech.