Interior Secretary Orders King Memorial Inscription To Be Corrected

Source: Carol Morello and Ed O’Keefe / The Washington Post

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has ordered a correction to a badly mangled quotation from Martin Luther King Jr. inscribed in granite on the Tidal Basin memorial to the slain civil rights leader.

Salazar said Friday that he has told the National Park Service to consult with the memorial foundation and the King family and to report back to him within 30 days with a plan to fix the carved excerpt that turned a modest and mellifluous phrase into a prideful boast.

“This is important because Dr. King and his presence on the Mall is a forever presence for the United States of America, and we have to make sure that we get it right,” Salazar told The Washington Post’s Rachel Manteuffel, whose opinion piece last summer first drew attention to the inartful truncation and sparked demands that it should be changed.

Edward Jackson Jr., the memorial’s lead architect, said the foundation responsible for building it has already come up with a proposal for alternative wording that expands the excerpt. But he said it’s impossible to carve the quotation in its entirety in the yard-thick granite without destroying the entire monument.

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