Memphians still take in MLK Memorial, despite delay of dedicatio - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Memphians still take in MLK Memorial, despite delay of dedication

(WMC-TV) - The dedication of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C. planned for Sunday has been postponed indefinitely due to Hurricane Irene.

Many Mid-Southerners had already made the trip to the nation's capital before the dedication was postponed.

The disappointment caused by the delay was short lived for Rev. LaSimba Gray of New Sardis Baptist Church in Memphis.

"It was a great disappointment, that was the emotional side," said Gray.  "But the intellectual side of it said it was the safest thing to do.  So we took advantage of it and we spent the entire day touring this great city and seeing the actual memorial."

The storm cut Gray's trip short, but he said seeing the monument was inspiring.

While many Memphis residents are in Washington, D.C., people from around the country are in Memphis honoring King by visiting the place where he took his last breath.

"If we could be split in half, we would have been here and there," said New York resident Simms Williams.

Gray said he believes the monument will still draw a huge crowd when it is officially unveiled.

"My projection is it will be greater," he said.  "You will have people now who will come who had been thinking about it and wondering about, and now, this is impacting people across the world."

Gray said he was 19 years old when King was killed.  He could not travel at the time to show his respect.  Now in his 60's, Gray said he would not miss this weekend.

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