Quote on King Memorial To Be Changed - NBC4 Washington

Quote on King Memorial To Be Changed

National Park Service working to create alternative to paraphrased King quote.



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    WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 22: The new Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial stands before the general public was given access to the newest memorial on the National Mall August 22, 2011 in Washington, DC. Fifteen years after Congress authorized the memorial, the 30-foot-tall statue of the American civil rights pioneer will be dedicated on August 28, the 48th anniversary of King's historic "I Have A Dream" speech. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

    As crowds head to the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial this holiday weekend, they’re getting a last look at one of the quotes etched in stone.

    Interior Secretary Ken Salazar gave the National Park service 30 days to find an alternative to a controversial quote on the statue. It reads: "I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness."

    Many thought the paraphrased quote made Dr. King sound conceited, including Washington Post writer Rachel Manteuffel, who penned the original opinion piece which called for the quote to be changed. Manteuffel's campaign drew the support of poet Maya Angelou, among others.

    The original quote from Dr. King reads, "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 words were part of a speech King gave at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta on February 4, 1968. King died exactly two months later.

    The National Park Service will work with the King Memorial Foundation and the King family to find an alternative solution.