reports that there is an error with the newly opened memorial for the civil rights leader Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. in Washington, leading to the inscription needing to be altered. The 30ft (9m) granite statue, located at the National Mall in Washington, was unveiled on October 16, 2011. The art work was created by Master Lei Yixin, a Chinese sculptor.
According to The Washington Post
, what is of concern is the quotation "I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness" , which has reportedly been taken out of context and appears to some as unintentionally boastful. Due to this error US Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has demanded that a new quotation is found within the next 30 days for the 9.1-meter high statue.
Salazar has said, as the Raw Story
points out, that it is very “important” to correct the error because King “and his presence on the Mall is a forever presence for the United States of America” with its conspicuous location in the nation’s capital.
Apparently King did speak the words attributed to him in Memphis two months before he was assassinated in 1968, but they were prefaced the phrase: "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."
The issue has caused some embarrassment to State officials, especially considering King's importance to American life, hence the urgency to get the inscription changed as quickly as possible. However, the Christian Science Monitor
states that Ed Jackson Jr., the executive architect of the $120 million project, is quoted as saying that King's words were shortened for space reasons and that he stands by the paraphrased line.
The memorial cost $120 million and the change will add a little more to the cost.