obamessiah marks holiday with call to service
from ap: A quote carved in stone on the new Martin Luther King Jr. memorial in Washington will be changed after the inscription was criticized for not accurately reflecting the civil rights leader’s words.
The inscription currently reads: “I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness.” The phrase is chiseled into one side of a massive block of granite that includes King’s likeness emerging from the stone. It became a point of controversy after the memorial opened in August.
A spokesman for the U.S Department of the Interior said Friday that Secretary Ken Salazar decided to have the quote changed. The Washington Post first reported on Friday the decision to change the inscription.
The phrase is modified from a sermon known as the “Drum Major Instinct,” in which the 39-year-old King explained to his Atlanta congregation how he would like to be remembered at his funeral. He made the February 1968 speech just two months before he was assassinated in Memphis, Tenn.
In the speech, King’s words seem more modest than the paraphrased inscription: “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.”
Poet Maya Angelou previously said the truncated version made King sound like “an arrogant twit” because it was out of context.