Thousands of people from all over the country on Sunday attended the long awaited Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial dedication, in Washington, D.C., the National Mall’s newest monument. The occasion featured a speech by President Barack Obama.

The original dedication of the monument - which features a 17-foot tall (5.2 meters) statue of King partially carved from a boulder - had been postponed due to Hurricane Irene.

“An earthquake and hurricane may have delayed this day,” said President Obama said at the memorial.

“But it was a day not to be denied,” he added.

The dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. monument is the first monument on the National Mall of a black man and a non-president.

The memorial allows visitors to first walk along a passageway that leads to two stones several meters high parted across the middle, with the missing piece further ahead in a plaza which has King’s image. On the stone in the plaza is engraved the title of a 1963 speech entitled: “Out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope.”

People started crowding onto the memorial site at dawn, to the southeast of the steps where King delivered his historic, “I Have a Dream” speech, according to CBS News.

President Obama said he hopes that his daughters too, take something away from King’s monument.

“I want them to come away from here with a faith in what they can accomplish when they are determined and working for a righteous cause. I want them to come away from here with a faith in other people and a faith in a benevolent God,” President Obama said.

“This sculpture, massive and iconic as it is, will remind them of Dr. King’s strength, but to see him only as larger than life would do a disservice to what he taught us about ourselves. He would want them to know that he had setbacks, because they will have setbacks. He would want them to know that he had doubts, because they will have doubts. He would want them to know that he was flawed, because all of us have flaws,” he added.

At the very end of the President’s speech he asked the people to have faith and to keep climbing towards that promised land that King envisioned.

“And so with our eyes on the horizon and our faith squarely placed in one another, let us keep striving; let us keep struggling; let us keep climbing toward that promised land of a nation and a world that is more fair, and more just, and more equal for every single child of God.”