As their father’s legacy is officially enshrined in granite on the Mall, the children of Martin Luther King Jr. have come to pay homage to their daddy.

He is the man whose powerful shadow they could never escape, whose message they were expected to further and whose image they feel called to protect.

“I try . . . to focus on the blessing of having been in this kind of a family,” Martin Luther King III said Wednesday in an interview at the Willard Hotel in Washington. “This is the only life I’ve ever known.”

The weight of having an iconic father has had its impact, Martin and his younger sister, Bernice, said in separate interviews. From the day their father died, when Bernice was 5 and Martin was 10, people have been looking for him in his children. Would those who carry his DNA carry on his cause? Is the question even fair?

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