(WASHINGTON TIMES) — The National Park Service announced on Friday it will correct a paraphrased “drum major” quote etched into the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial to “more accurately reflect” King’s words.
For months, observers said the truncated version etched into granite — “I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness” — was an insult to the civil rights leader, whose memorial was dedicated by President Obama and other dignitaries on Oct. 16. Poet Maya Angelou said that the shortened version of the quote made King sound “arrogant.”
Ken Salazar, the secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, said he met with members of the King family and decided to replace the text with the full quote: “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.”