ATLANTA, May 7 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) announced today that its employees and customers have raised $1 million for the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial in Washington, D.C.
The achievement stems from a fundraising challenge from Delta's Chief Executive Officer Richard Anderson in January 2008.
"Reaching our goal of one million dollars is a true testament of what can be accomplished when our employees and customers work together to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy," Anderson said. "It is so appropriate and correct that we also honor the values of this great man."
Several civil rights icons helped mark the occasion, including the Rev. Joseph Lowery, Ambassador Andrew Young and U.S. Rep. John Lewis. All of the men marched with Dr. King during the 1960s. Other dignitaries on hand included Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and Dr. King's daughter, Bernice King.
When completed, the $120 million memorial will mark the first monument to an African American on the National Mall. With Delta's donation, more than $107 million dollars has been raised. The monument is being constructed on a four-acre site near the Lincoln Memorial, where Dr. King delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech in 1963, and is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2011.
Selected quotations from Dr. King's writing, sermons and speeches will be permanently engraved into the memorial walls.
Most of the donations were collected by Delta's Force for Global Good, an effort that comprises Delta employees, customers and community partners to promote positive change for improving the standards of living and the environment where Delta employees and customers live and work.
"The memorial is all about the human spirit and a dream by a man that forever changed this country," said Ambassador Young. "We are so grateful for the generosity of Delta and its customers."
Delta Air Lines serves more than 160 million customers each year. With its unsurpassed global network, Delta and the Delta Connection carriers offer service to 358 destinations in 66 countries on six continents. Delta employs more than 70,000 employees worldwide and operates a mainline fleet of nearly 800 aircraft. A founding member of the SkyTeam global alliance, Delta participates in the industry's leading trans-Atlantic joint venture with Air France KLM. Including its worldwide alliance partners, Delta offers customers more than 16,000 daily flights, with hubs in Amsterdam, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Memphis, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York-JFK, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Salt Lake City and Tokyo-Narita. The airline's service includes the SkyMiles frequent flier program, the world's largest airline loyalty program; the award-winning BusinessElite service; and more than 45 Delta Sky Clubs in airports worldwide. Customers can check in for flights, print boarding passes, check bags and review flight status at delta.com.
SOURCE Delta Air Lines