The “drum major” quote on the side of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial on the National Mall will be stripped, says Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar.
Responding to criticism the compilation of a speech by King two months before his 1968 assassination over how he wanted to be remembered made the civil rights leader sound arrogant, Salazar opted to have the quote removed. Rather than just dig six inches into the side of the 32-foot memorial that might jeopardize its structural integrity, the phrase will be scraped off to match the “striations” – horizontal marks that make it look like the stone of hope was pulled out from the nearby mountain of despair.
The work is scheduled for February and should be done before the heavy spring tourist season. The memorial foundation will pay the expected $700,000-$900,000 cost.