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Obama To Lead Ceremony For King Monument

The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial
Thousands of people are gathering in the U.S. capital to attend a dedication ceremony for a new monument honoring the slain American civil-rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

U.S. President Barack Obama and singer Aretha Franklin will be among those leading the event in Washington.

The monument, which stands on Washington's National Mall alongside memorials to Presidents Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, and Franklin D. Roosevelt, opened to the public in August.

But the original dedication ceremony -- planned for August 28 to coincide with the 48th anniversary of King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech -- was postponed after Hurricane Irene hit the East Coast of the United States.

About 50,000 people are expected to attend today's ceremony.

compiled from agency reports