Fifty years after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., hundreds of community members dedicated a Memorial Tree Grove in his honor at the highest point of the Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area, overlooking downtown Los Angeles.
The tree grove features an obelisk that evokes memories of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where Dr. King delivered his historic “I Have a Dream” speech. The obelisk is inscribed with some of the civil rights leader’s most inspiring words.
With sweeping vistas of downtown Los Angeles, the tree grove will be a highlight of the 13-mile Park to Playa trail now under construction, slated to connect the beach with the Baldwin Hills by 2020.
“I believe once you experience the Memorial Tree Grove here at the very top of Hahn Park, you will find few other spaces that so peacefully and so exquisitely facilitate reflection in his honor,”
said Los Angeles County Second District Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas. “There’s no other individual who has inspired us, challenged us, and motivated us to create a world filled with more civility, equality and dignity.”
The dedication ceremony, held to culminate the Season for Nonviolence, featured the Xipe Totec Aztec Dancers, World Stage Executive Director Dwight Trible, Shine Mawusi Drummers, and Now Art LA Flag Troupe. Rev. James Lawson, who was with Dr. King on the day of his death, delivered the keynote speech at the dedication ceremony.
Community leaders, who joined the public in a symbolic march at the park, included Los Angeles City Councilmember Marqueece Harris-Dawson, leaders of the Baldwin Hills Conservancy, Mujeres de la Tierra. Representatives of the Los Angeles County Departments of Parks and Recreation and Public Works, as well as the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and the Empowerment Congress were also present.
“Our department is honored that our urban jewel, Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area, was chosen to showcase a beautiful memorial overlooking Los Angeles that commemorates the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” noted Department of Parks and Recreation Director John Wicker.
Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area is located at 4100 S. La Cienega Blvd. in Los Angeles. For more information, please call (323) 398-3660.