National Urban League CEO Marc Morial and Harry Johnson, president of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation. (Photo: AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
MLK Foundation CEO Harry Johnson announced with deep regret that Sunday’s dedication ceremony for the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial will be postponed until September or October.
He decided that it was in the best interest and safety of people who intended to travel to Washington D.C. for the event. He wanted to give the people who had already arrived in Washington an opportunity to get home safely.
"I remained optimistic all day, but Mother Nature is Mother Nature," Johnson said at a news conference. "I'm very disappointed and hurt, really. We all are."
The memorial's executive architect announced the postponement after a day of forecasts from the National Weather Service indicating Hurricane Irene was bearing down on the East Coast.
Organizers had expected to draw up to 250,000 people. Unfortunately, Irene has now ended the possibility for the memorial to be dedicated on the 48th anniversary of King's historic "I Have a Dream" speech.