MLK Memorial's inscription work remains
WASHINGTON (AP) – Tuesday marked the one year anniversary of the public opening of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the Tidal Basin.
Organizers say in its first year, it has been everything they hoped.
"You come here any day or night; there's just tons of people coming to visit the memorial,” said Harry Johnson, the president and CEO of the Martin Luther King Memorial Foundation.
The Foundation held a ceremony Tuesday night to mark the anniversary.
Afterward, organizers showed the movie "The Long Walk Home" in a grassy spot near the memorial. It’s a movie about the 1955 Civil Rights bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama.
There is one outstanding issue involving the monument – the Memorial Foundation is still working with the National Park Service to change an inscription quoting the civil rights leader.
Johnson says that work will wait until after the height of the summer tourist season. The memorial's sculptor and stone carver will return in September or October to change the words carved in the central "Stone of Hope."
The inscription is being changed after critics, including the poet Maya Angelou, complained that it didn't accurately reflect King's words.
It reads: "I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness."
King's full quotation seems more modest: “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.”
Johnson says work on changing the quote is expected to take three weeks to a month to finish.
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