Carved in Stone Ain’t What it Used to Be: King Monument Quote to be Amended

The National Park Service is putting on its poetical thinking cap to come up with an amended version of an inscription at the newish Martin Luther King Jr. memorial in Washington DC. Among other inscriptions at the monument, one reads “I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness.” The paraphrase is snipped from a 1968 speech, in which King said “”Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter,” and to some ears the current edit makes King seem too arrogant.

So they’re going to fix it, likely by adding to the inscription, rather than replacing the stonework. The decision went right to the top: Interior secretary Ken Salazar ordered the change, and gave the Park Service a month to get a committee together and recommend a new wording.

BTW, for fans of stone sculptures of stones, the King memorial includes a beaut- the little-photographed “Mountain of Despair” that King is pushing through.  

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