The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. inspired Okie Amadi to become a lawyer. So he booked his travel plans from his home in Honolulu to Washington, D.C., as soon as the dates for the King Memorial dedication were announced.

Amadi owed that to King who, he said, played one of the most important roles in the history of the United States.

Viewing the King Memorial days before the official Aug. 28 opening left the University of Hawaii-trained attorney overcome with emotion. Amadi praised the choices of King quotes used on the memorial but questioned why the King statue’s arms are folded rather than open, but “It does not take away from the beauty of the monument. The building of the memorial was long overdue,” he said.