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Organizers expect only a fifth of the audience for Sunday's Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial compared to the plans for the original August date, but the president is still the headliner.
The schedule for Sunday’s Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial dedication is coming together.
President Barack Obama will speak during the 11 a.m. hour, syndicated columnist and TV analyst Roland S. Martin tweeted Monday. Though the dedication begins at 9 a.m., Sunday’s events also will include a pre-program beginning at 8 a.m.
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, civil rights leaders and members of King’s family also are expected to participate.
Reserved seating will be available for the dedication party. It will be standing room only with no tickets required for the public. Jumbotrons will be set up to help the crowd see and hear.
The dedication, originally scheduled for Aug. 28, the 48th anniversary of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, was postponed due to Hurricane Irene. Sunday is the 16th anniversary of the Million Man March on the National Mall.
About 250,000 people were expected to attend the August dedication. About 50,000 are expected at the pared down Oct. 16 dedication, News4's Tom Sherwood reported.
Organizers encouraged the public to bring their own blankets, folding chairs and water. Metro will have extra cars running Sunday morning, Sherwood reported, and officials cautioned that there is limited to no parking for private vehicles. It's unclear at this point whether the memorial itself will be open to the public Sunday afternoon.
The memorial sits on the National Mall adjacent to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial near the Tidal Basin and between memorials honoring Presidents Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson. It includes a 30-foot-tall sculpture of King and a 450-foot-long granite wall inscribed with 14 quotations from the civil rights leader chosen by a panel of scholars.