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MLK memorial sees crowds come in droves

Sunday - 4/8/2012, 7:03pm  ET

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People visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, on the 44th anniversary of King's assassination. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

WASHINGTON - The Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial continues to draw big crowds after its unveiling late last summer.

Each month, the National Park Service estimates the number of visitors to the memorial, which is located along the Tidal Basin by the National Mall. Their most recent figure: 205,000 visitors in February.

The memorial along the tidal basin opened to the public in August of last year. Harry Johnson, president of the memorial's foundation, says the number of people visiting each month is huge.

"We're very pleased that people believe that this is their memorial, and it is," says Harry Johnson, president of the memorial's foundation. "They're coming in droves to see it."

Johnson says the memorial also draws attention to nearby FDR and World War I memorials, making the park service and the Secretary of the Interior happy, too.

"I don't know if it's just so new or because of the uniqueness of it being Dr. King, but we're so proud," he says.

Visitors to the memorial since it opened in August, as estimated by the National Park Service:

  • Sept. 2011: 406,000
  • Oct. 2011: 526,000
  • Nov. 2011: 321,000
  • Dec. 2011: 235,000
  • Jan. 2012: 276,000
  • Feb. 2012: 205,000

WTOP's Michelle Basch contributed to this report.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)