A new statue honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King and her legacy was unveiled in Boston on Friday afternoon.
The 22-foot-tall Embrace Memorial officially opened on Boston Common near the Parkman Bandstand.
This is the first new public memorial in over 30 years.
The hug resembles what Dr. King shared with his wife Coretta after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964.
King met Coretta Scott in Boston in the 1950s and received his Ph.D. in theology from Boston University.
He gave speeches in Boston and in 1965 led a civil rights march from Roxbury to Common, where The Embrace now stands.
Dr. King’s family were speechless. Dr Martin Luther King III said, “It is a great honor to be part of the unveiling of a memorial that truly shows the bond of love shared between my parents.”
The ceremony was filled with songs, prayers and powerful speeches.
Andrea King said: “I am fascinated by this monument. It is a beautiful declaration of mutual love and solidarity between two people who share a common determination to overcome racism and build a better future together and for generations to come.”
King’s granddaughter, Yolanda King, spoke from the heart and apparently received a gift from her grandparents. “I really see that there’s a lot that needs to change in this world. I think it’s the responsibility of all of us to do something, and I feel called to do this work.”
Nonprofit organization, Embrace Boston raised $8 million to create the statue and another $2.5 million to maintain it.
Former WBZ-TV host Rev. Liz Walker, is co-founder and co-president of Embrace Boston.
“People are excited about this. And you know, and in these days when we’re all fighting and screaming at each other, and nobody’s talking to each other and we can only think of things that pull us apart, this is a unifier. So it gives me great hope,” she told WBZ.
This weekend there will be other events in honor of Dr. Giving King in Boston. Project 351, with representatives from 351 cities across the state, will have its annual Launch Day and Day of Service at Faneuil Hall on Saturday at 9:30 am.
The annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. it’s also on Saturday at 10am at the Melnea Cass Rec Center in Roxbury.