Obama joins Modi in paying homage to Martin Luther King Jr.

Written by: IANS
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Washington, Oct 1: In a spontaneous gesture, President Barack Obama joined Prime Minister Narendra Modi on a visit to the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial, the American civil rights leader who drew inspiration from Mahatma Gandhi.

Modi, who had started his day with a visit to the Gandhi memorial in front of the Indian embassy, was scheduled to go alone to the King memorial after his bilateral summit with Obama. But apparently, during the talks, Obama decided to join him.

Modi, who had switched to a dark Bandhgala suit for the summit, and walked to the front of the memorial, appearing to chat with Obama gestured a few times and appeared to be commenting on the King statue.

Later, Modi left separately from the King Memorial for a lunch hosted at the State Department by Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry and Obama returned to the White House.

As the two leaders' "joint Op-Ed today noted, when Martin Luther King Jr. sought to end discrimination and prejudice against African Americans, he was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi's non-violent teachings", the White House said.

The King memorial was dedicated on Aug 28, 2011, the 48th anniversary of his groundbreaking in March on Washington for jobs and freedom and his "I Have a Dream" speech, delivered from the nearby Lincoln memorial.

Designed by Lei Yixin the 9.1 metres high white granite Stone of Hope statue detached from the Mountain of Despair reflects the victory borne from disappointment

The 98 foot high Lincoln Memorial designed by Henry Bacon on the National Mall is a favourite haunt of Obama, who is an admirer of all three icons: Gandhi, King and Lincoln.


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