D.C.

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial quote removed

Decrease Increase Text size

The removal of a controversial quote from the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial is now complete after four days of chipping and sandblasting.

The original inscription, which read, "I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness," was a paraphrased version of Dr. King's original speech, and many critics believed the inscription was out of context.

Some went as far as to say that the abbreviated version made King sound arrogant. Two years after the monument opened, though, the quote is now gone.

"This time, he will just make sure all the work is done correctly," Ke Shi, the son of sculptor Lei Yixin, said while translating for his father.

The words on the side of the stone will be replaced with designs and grooves in the stone, making it look like the quote was never there.

The change has cost between $700,000 and $800,000.

"The most challenging thing is to maintain the integrity of the statue while removing the inscription," Shi said.

Despite the ongoing work, tourists have flocked to the statue.

"We've heard so much about it and (saw) it on TV, but to be here, it's just...chills," Connecticut resident Judy Scott said.

National Park Service officials say the plan is to have the scaffolding that hinders the memorial down and work complete before festivities begin to mark the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Recommended For You