Every year, thousands upon thousands of people from all over the world flock to Atlanta, Georgia to visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Site.
The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park Visitor Center has a helpful information desk right inside the main entrance. Stop by here to get an overview of the historic site, find out which buildings are open, schedule a Birth Home tour, and find out where the restrooms are.
The “Children of Courage” display welcomes younger guests and may be found in the Visitor Center’s foyer. Kids today are challenged by the stories of the children who participated in the Civil Rights Movement.
The values that informed Dr. King’s life and work are honored at the Behold Monument. Mrs. Coretta Scott King erected this memorial in January 1990, in honor of her late husband and as a source of inspiration for those who continue to fight for equality, fairness, and human rights.
Renowned sculpture, Patrick Morelli, was inspired to create the ‘Behold Monument’, after learning about the ancient African practice of raising a newborn child to the sky and proclaiming, “See the one thing bigger than yourself.”
Dr. King’s ability to defend a morally courageous, though often unpopular, cause in the face of overwhelming opposition, and his ability to maintain his dignity and a genuine spirit of brotherhood in the face of the cruelest and most ignorant threats, insults, and indignities, were the two aspects of Dr. King’s life and works that most impressed Patrick.
As a global initiative, the International World Peace Rose Gardens program aims to teach young people about the value of peace and to encourage them to work toward it. The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site is home to the World Peace Rose Garden, which was established in March 1992 in honor of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. The garden is a creative tribute to Dr. King’s legacy and his advocacy of nonviolence as a means to achieve peace. The garden’s starburst layout highlights the radiance of Dr. King’s principles through the use of the rose, the national flower of the United States.
Located in front of the Visitor Center, the Garden provides a scenic view of the Peace Plaza. There are 185 roses there, in many different hues and scents. From the Peace Plaza, with your back to the rose garden, you can view the King family tombs across the street. Students from schools all throughout the country and the world submit poetry about peace to an annual contest. The chosen winning poetry is displayed in the rose garden for a year.