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Boston To Build Monument To Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

BOSTON (CBS) -- Mayor Marty Walsh announced Tuesday that Martin Luther King, Jr. is going to be honored with a statue in the city to coincide with the 50th anniversary of his death.

"Boston's finally going to build a fitting memorial to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in the city he once called his second home," Walsh told members of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.

Walsh said he'd work with philanthropist Paul English and members of the Boston community to create a design and identify a location for the Boston MLK memorial.

"During his time in Boston, Dr. King embodied the best of our values," Walsh said. "He completed his education here. He built community here, and met his wife Coretta."

Rev. Arthur Thomas Gerald of the 12th Baptist Church in Roxbury was especially happy about the announcement, because King, who lived in Boston, used to preach at his church.

"I'm elated and very honored, and it is long overdue for one who has done so much to try to help individuals to live better, to do better," Rev. Gerald told WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Carl Stevens. "There are so many monuments that are out there today that talk about things that divided us. For one that tried to unite us, it couldn't be more appropriate, and it couldn't be a better time than now."

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  MLK
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

"When Dr. King returned to Boston in 1965, he stood on the Parkman Bandstand on Boston Common and said: 'The vision of the New Boston must extend into Roxbury. Boston must be a testing ground for the ideals of freedom.' Dr. King's challenge is as real today as it was then," Walsh said.

King developed part of his message here in this city, Rev. Gerald said, so a monument would be "ideal, and wonderful."

"We have a rightful place, rightful ownership, and we are blessed to be where we are at this time," Rev. Gerald said.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Carl Stevens reports

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