Marion Barry Jr's 81st Birthday Celebration
A couple hundred people gathered at the John A. Wilson Building to celebrate the anniversary of Mr Barry's 81st birthday and to view early concepts of his monument on March 6th. Dr Janette Hoston Harris, the City Historian, led the program.
Mayor Muriel Bowser reminded everyone of the multitudes of Washingtonians that Marion Barry helped over his 50 years of service to our city. She encouraged everyone to mark the day by enjoying a fond, funny, outrageous memory of Marion Barry. Council chairman, Phil Mendelson, spoke about the consummate politician who was a very able ally or opponent depending on the issue at hand. Ward 8 Councilmember, Trayon White, spoke to Mr Barry's ability to connect with all generations, stating that he, his son and grandmother had relationships with, and stories to tell about Mr. Barry.
The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities has been executing a process to create a monument to Mr. Barry. Early concepts developed by artists selected from a competitive process were revealed on March 6th. In the next year, the concepts will be refined and the site selection process will be completed. The bust is an example of detail that will be included in the statue.
Cora Masters Barry thanked Mayor Bowser for her support from Mr Barry's passing through the present day. She also recognized and thanked the Barry Commission and Barry Legacy Foundation for their work. She recognized the Arts Commission for their efforts and invited everyone to review and comment on the monument concepts.
While the national government is grappling with tough issues like the truth and reality, it was comforting to be part of this gathering, where local Washington political leadership gathered with a unity of purpose, where we can agree to disagree and continue to move our city forward.