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MLK Dedication Postponed Indefinitely

AFRO Staff | 9/14/2011, 6:26 p.m.

(August 25, 2911) Sunday's planned dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial in Washington has been postponed because of Hurricane Irene, one of the event's organizers told CNN.

President Obama had planned to speak at the ceremony and officials said an estimated 200,000 people were scheduled to attend.

Organizers said that the Friday schedule will continue as planned. On Saturday, organizers will hold the National Prayer Service at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. This will be the final official event of the Dedication week.

The $120 million Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial will open on the anniversary of King's 1963 "I Have a Dream" speech. Planners said they have worked with the Park Service to ensure that the Memorial will be open to the public, weather permitting, on Saturday. The Memorial will be open Saturday from 7:00 a.m. to 12 noon.

The memorial, years in the making, is located on a 4-acre site on the National Mall. The dedication ceremony would have capped a five-day celebration in honor of the slain civil rights leader, USA Today reported.

Meanwhile, six governors, including New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, have declared states of emergency as the monstrous storm tracks north toward the United States' Eastern Seaboard after hitting the Bahamas. Hurricane warnings have been issued for coastal North Carolina, according to the National Hurricane Center said.