Irene Martin Luther King

Irene Martin Luther King

Irene Martin Luther King. he head of the foundation that organized Sunday's planned dedication ceremony on Washington's National Mall for a memorial to the late Martin Luther King Jr. announced Thursday night that the official dedication has been postponed.

As Hurricane Irene continued to barrel toward the Washington area, Harry Johnson, CEO of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation, said safety prompted the decision. He said he consulted with the National Park Service and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The dedication will be rescheduled for sometime in September or October, he said.

As two of King's children —Martin Luther King III and Bernice King— looked on, Johnson said he wanted to give the expected thousands of people headed to the nation's capital time to change their plans, and others already in Washington time to get home safely.

The decision was "without question" a disappointment, Johnson said.

"I think we all are saddened by this," said Johnson, flanked by Washington Mayor Vincent Gray and National Urban League president Marc Morial.

Earlier Thursday, Johnson had said he was optimistic the dedication would be held Sunday. Morial had told a ballroom luncheon hailing civil rights pioneers that the Irene preparation plan involved "prayer."

Read more: usatoday