MLK Reflection Park ribbon cutting caps off MLK50 week

(Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - City of Memphis officially opened the MLK Reflection Park at the corner of Second Street and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue on Friday.

The park, which the city spent roughly $900,000 on including donations from sponsors, took almost two months to build.

The rain forced grand opening celebrations to move indoors to the lobby of MLGW. City and community leaders capped off a week dedicated to honoring the legacy of Dr. King 50 years after his assassination in Memphis.

"This is another significant day for Memphis," Mayor Jim Strickland said.

The park includes benches, a large walkway, reflection areas, the iconic 1977 "I have been to the mountaintop" sculpture, and some never before seen images of Dr. King from the Withers Collection. They were revealed Friday.

"Let us use this reflection site as a place where dreams can become realities, desperation can become hope, and isolation can become inspiration," Memphis City Council Chairman Berlin Boyd said.

MLGW donated the land and the city paid for the park with a number of sponsors--Memphis-based FedEx being the largest one.

"There's an old saying that charity begins at home," FedEx Express Chief HR and Diversity Officer Shannon Brown said.

Wednesday, there were multiple public ceremonies honoring MLK50, Thursday, the I Am A Man Plaza was unveiled at Clayborn Temple, and Friday, the ribbon cutting of the MLK Reflection Park officially capped off the MLK50 week.

"It's a way that we can better educate generations to come about the future of Memphis," Strickland said.

The mountaintop sculpture was relocated from the other side of Downtown Memphis to go in the MLK Reflection Park.

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