Many monuments and sculptures commemorate the famous Martin Luther King, Jr. across the U.S., including Washington D.C.’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. Officially opened to the public on August 22, 2011, it is one of hundreds of national monuments administered by the National Park Service. The idea for the memorial originally started with King’s former fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha at Boston University, after his assassination in 1968. Initial efforts first led to the establishment of King’s birthday as a national holiday in 1983, and by 1996 authorization was given to fund for the memorial; building of the monument did not officially commence until 2009.

Since the summer of 2011, the memorial has stood as a celebration and remembrance of the late pastor and activist known for his use of nonviolent resistance against racial segregation and discrimination. It also holds 1964 in significance; during this time King—at age 35—was the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his work, and this was the year that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 went into effect. To pay homage to this milestone in the movement, the address of the memorial is 1964 Independence Ave.

The centerpiece of the memorial is the Stone of Hope, a 30-foot tall sculpture of white granite that was inspired by the line, “Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope,” in MLK’s “I Have a Dream” speech that he delivered in front of the Lincoln Memorial. This quote is inscribed on the statue as was another, although the second— “I was a drum major for justice, peace, and righteousness”— was removed in 2013. There are also two inscription walls, the North and South, that contain fourteen quotes taken from King’s various speeches and writings; they range from 1955 to his final days in 1968.