My First Visit to The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in DC

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. -- Martin Luther King Jr.When I had the chance to tour the White House at the holidays, I decided there were a few other sights that I hadn’t seen that had been calling my name. I had to make time to do a few places on the mall. And though I had thought I’d write the posts in order that I visited them, today, I really like I need to get this post up on the blog.

The time pressure is due to the long weekend to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. In my life, I have marked this day/weekend in a variety of ways. sharing photos and thoughts from an incredible experience seemed like a fitting tribute.

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial was dedicated on the National Mall in 2011. And all my recent trips to DC have been strictly business, no time to wander around the Mall. As someone who grew up in the shadow of King’s work, I have immense admiration for his work… particularly his ability to maintain optimism and focus on progress in the face of incredible challenges. I have shared my thoughts on King several times.

MLK from across the tidal basin

For a day of sightseeing on the mall, I decided to start first at the Jefferson Memorial which meant catching my first glimpses of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial across the tidal basin. Despite it being a really cloudy day, the view was striking.

The cloudy day was really striking me for more than the weather. I was in DC but had been keeping my eye on St. Louis as the expectation was that the grand jury would be returning in the case against the Ferguson police officer who shot Michael Brown.

families at the MLK MemorialAlthough there was a constant stream of people visiting the memorial, it was quiet. People were using their visits as a time of reflection and contemplation it seemed. Families were there, with the younger members getting the insight from parents and grandparents about why we pause here today. People stopped to shoot photos for others. Smiles were exchanged and everyone seemed to know there is still progress yet to be made.

For me, I wanted to take in the various angles of the incredible granite memorial. Standing there… looking at the memorial and taking time to read some of the wisdom of his words.

Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?'

peace on Earth MLK

Injustice anywhere is a threat

It seemed to me that perhaps the weather gods knew that and they let the sun crack through once I got to the memorial as the sun popped out only for the time I was there. A small thing but something powerful all the same. Reminding me of hope and the many reasons to have it. Reminding me of the many small things we can all do to provide progress. great things

I instagrammed a selfie to capture myself in the moment before leaving…. I feel certain I’ll be going back.

A photo posted by Janice Person (@jplovescotton) on


I asked some fellow bloggers whether they were writing posts about Martin Luther King Day and love this one that Natasha of Houseful of Nicholes wrote as a homeschooling lesson that offers a way to discuss diversity with kids and another lesson specifically about resources to do lessons about Martin Luther King, Jr. 

About Janice Person

I'm Janice & this blog is about my passions -- photography, travel, agriculture & whatever else comes to mind. Putting all those things together is intriguing to me…. I can spend a lot of time soaking it up! It's almost always a colorful adventure!

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4 Responses to My First Visit to The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in DC

  1. The Cubicle Chick January 18, 2015 at 12:07 pm #

    I remember shooting you a DM on FB telling you the Ferguson Grand Jury announcement would be made later that day. I did this right after seeing your picture in front of the MLK memorial in my feed. I thought about the irony. And the work that still must be done. Great post, friend.

    • Janice Person January 18, 2015 at 12:12 pm #

      Yes. I was thinking about Ferguson a good bit that day but your feeling so certain it was the day the grand jury would return… well, it certainly was a filter for the sightseeing. It wasn’t much later before I shot a short video at the Lincoln Memorial… so much is intertwined with the events surrounding Ferguson and King both. Hope some folks use this holiday weekend to actually give it all some thought!

  2. Leroy January 20, 2015 at 9:34 am #

    Being an African American male it’s not often I get to share views of other races but you do an awesome job of keeping it real. Thank you.

    The Water Guy

    • Janice Person January 20, 2015 at 9:03 pm #

      What an incredible compliment! Thanks Leroy! Hope you have an awesome week ahead!

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