Continued from page 1

The memorial site is surrounded by 182 Yoshino cherry trees that will blossom pink and white in the spring. It’s intended to be peaceful, giving visitors an opportunity to reflect on King’s words and legacy.

Geraldine Newton, 59, a tourist from Surrey, England, took that opportunity Monday, sitting on a bench and reading the inscriptions. She said the inclusion of the King memorial on the Mall was a significant milestone.

“Hats off to America. It’s facing up to periods in its past that were very challenging,” Newton said. “He’s a quintessential American hero.”

Pamela M. Cross, 53, a cybersecurity professional from Washington, said her father, a postal worker, attended the March on Washington. She said King’s message continues to resonate.

“The way the country is right now, it’s good to remember his principles,” Cross said. “We are in need of jobs, we’re in need of equality, we’re in need of an economic vision that’s inclusive.”

Myers was 1 during the march, but his late father and his aunts and uncles attended. Asked how his father would react if he could see the memorial, he said: “I think he’d be in tears.”