Monday at the Georgia State Capitol, a statue paying homage to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was unveiled.
Dr. King's daughter, Rev. Bernice King, stood beside the monument of her father, the leader of the civil rights movement, beaming as an estimated 800 people joined to celebrate the unveiling according to TIME.
The daughter of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. stood beside her father's newly unveiled statue Monday, just a few blocks from where he grew up, handing out hugs and telling each well-wisher: "It's about time." The statue paying tribute to King made its public debut Monday morning on the Georgia Capitol grounds in front of around 800 people including Gov. Nathan Deal, many other state political leaders and several members of the King family. The sculpture's installation comes more than three years after Georgia lawmakers endorsed the project. A replica of the nation's Liberty Bell tolled three times before the 8-foot (2.4-meter) bronze statue was unveiled on the 54th anniversary of King's "I have a dream" speech at the 1963 March on Washington. The statue depicts King in mid-stride, as his left arm holds an overcoat while grasping a batch of papers. ????: @ap.images #MLK #martinlutherkingjr #berniceking #atlanta #georgia #georgiacapitol #nathandeal #libertybell #statue #tribute #politics
The project to build this structure on Georgia Capitol grounds was endorsed three years ago. Now, on the 54th anniversary of Dr. King's 'I Have a Dream' speech at the 1963 March on Washington, the monument made its debut.
"Forty-nine years ago when my father was assassinated, he was the most hated man in America. Today, he is one of the most loved men in the world," said the Rev. Bernice King.
She continued by saying, "Today, we as the sons and daughters of former slaves and former slave owners are here to witness the unveiling of that statue. It is a glorious and grand day in the state of Georgia and in the United States of America and all over the world."
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed also gave a statement.
"This tribute is important and a lasting statement about the value of inclusion, the strength of our diversity and the power of grace and how it changes hearts," he said.
"This statue comes at a time when there are many conversations about historical monuments going on nationally and within the state. When the time comes, I'm confident in the city of Atlanta that we will walk it together as we have again, again and again."
The statue, which was sculpted by Martin Dawe, captures the likeness of Dr. King.
"This feels right," said Dawe while looking up at the statue. "I'm in awe of this."
This is not the only tribute efforts that will be made to Dr. King's contributions.
Per Reed's claims, a $40 million investment will be made to restore the MLK drive corridor and the $23 million MLK Recreation and Aquatic Center will open in Atlanta by the end of 2017.
In the wake of Charlottesville and the stream of protests to have Confederate monuments dismantled, it is nice to see the monument of someone deserving that stood for peace and equality such as Dr. Martin Luther King to be erected and celebrated.