NPS to correct quote on King Memorial

The National Park Service will remove and correct an incorrect quote included on the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial, officials said.

The memorial, which was dedicated last year, includes a paraphrased quote from King: “I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness.” However, during a 1968 speech at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, 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.”

“With a monument so powerful and timeless, it is especially important that all aspects of its words, design and meaning stay true to Dr. King’s life and legacy,” Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said in a news release.

The NPS agreed to change the quote after a meeting with King’s family.

Chinese sculptor Lee Yixin created the monument of King, who was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tenn. The memorial, located along the Tidal Basin near the Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Lincoln and Jefferson memorials, opened to the public on Aug. 22, 2011, and was formally dedicated in October 2011.

“My Aunt Christine and I along with other family members want to thank Secretary Salazar and the National Park Service for their considerable efforts regarding the correction of the quote on the Monument in order as the Secretary put it ‘to make sure we get it right,’” Bernice King, Dr. King’s youngest daughter, said in a statement. “As promised, the Secretary and the Park Service involved the family and other interested parties and have accomplished just that with the proposed correction by the Secretary.”

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