Skip to main content

Work completed on MLK memorial

From Laura Koran, CNN
August 16, 2013 -- Updated 2300 GMT (0700 HKT)
The dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial on Sunday, October 16, 2011 added another impressive monument to the tourist trail in Washington. The site features a 30-foot statue of the late civil rights leader gazing out on the Tidal Basin. Following are some of the U.S. capital's other historic monuments. The dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial on Sunday, October 16, 2011 added another impressive monument to the tourist trail in Washington. The site features a 30-foot statue of the late civil rights leader gazing out on the Tidal Basin. Following are some of the U.S. capital's other historic monuments.
HIDE CAPTION
Memorials and monuments
Jefferson Memorial
Korean War Veterans Memorial
Lincoln Memorial and Reflecting Pool
Washington Monument
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
World War II Memorial
Ulysses S. Grant Memorial
Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Sandblasting completed on King Memorial
  • That follows removal of controversial passage
  • 50th anniversary of King speech this month

Washington (CNN) -- The National Mall's Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial will be ready for events later this month commemorating the 50th anniversary of his "I Have a Dream Speech."

Sandblasting on King's monument was completed Thursday night after delays over a company not having proper insurance.

The National Park Service's Historic Preservation Training Center ended up doing the work, said spokeswoman Carol Johnson. The park service, which was not initially aware that the sandblasting would be required, is "very happy" with the completed project, she said.

Memorial sees first MLK Day

The remainder of the scaffolding will be taken down in coming days.

The completion of the work follows the removal of a controversial written message inscribed on the memorial's side.

The memorial had originally included a paraphrase from the famed Civil Rights leader's "Drum Major" speech that read: "I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness."

In 2011, famed poet Maya Angelou, a friend of King, pointed out that the statue took the original quote out of context in a manner that she said made King look arrogant.

Americans urged to live MLK's ideals at memorial dedication

Two months before he was assassinated in 1968, King in fact said: "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."

The work at the site is expected to cost between $700,000 and $800,000, according to Bob Vogel, superintendent of the National Mall and Memorial Parks. The money is coming not from taxpayer dollars but from a fund established for repairs.

The memorial, designed by Chinese artist Lei Yixin, opened in the summer of 2011. It features a large statue of King carved into the centerpiece "Stone of Hope," a large block set apart from the memorial's "Mountain of Despair," from which it appears to emerge.

King gave his famous speech at the Lincoln Memorial on Aug. 28, 1963.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
Fifty years ago 250,000 people converged on the National Mall for a March on Washington. It became the beginning of a new era.
August 28, 2013 -- Updated 1750 GMT (0150 HKT)
How the speech was crafted is just one of several interesting facts about what is one of the most important moments in the 20th century.
August 28, 2013 -- Updated 1858 GMT (0258 HKT)
The five decades from the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Dream" to Trayvon Martin's death have been the most tumultuous in the country's racial history.
August 23, 2013 -- Updated 1947 GMT (0347 HKT)
It was Martin Luther King, Jr.'s most famous speech. But one photographer trained his camera toward the crowd, instead.
August 27, 2013 -- Updated 1638 GMT (0038 HKT)
The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. as Public Enemy No. 1? Well, 50 years ago, that was nearly true.
August 28, 2013 -- Updated 1407 GMT (2207 HKT)
Gay pioneer Jack Nichols stated, "We had marched with Martin Luther King, and from that time on, we'd always had our dream about a (gay) march of similar proportions."
August 25, 2013 -- Updated 1441 GMT (2241 HKT)
Martin Luther King Jr. taught exactly one class his entire life. It was in 1962 in Atlanta -- a year before he would give his "I Have a Dream" speech in the nation's capital.
What are your everyday experiences with racism?Share your story with CNN's iReport.
August 26, 2013 -- Updated 1507 GMT (2307 HKT)
"Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, I'm free at last."
August 27, 2013 -- Updated 1427 GMT (2227 HKT)
The goal was to build pressure on Congress to move forward with the civil rights bill that President Kennedy had proposed.
August 23, 2013 -- Updated 1624 GMT (0024 HKT)
Patricia Worthy worked the phones to organize the March on Washington. But when the day came, she couldn't keep her eyes open.
August 25, 2013 -- Updated 1435 GMT (2235 HKT)
There is a secret about Bernice King that not everyone close to her wants you to know.
August 22, 2013 -- Updated 0118 GMT (0918 HKT)
Bayard Rustin is the most important leader of the civil rights movement you probably have never heard of. Why? Because he was unabashedly gay, writes LZ Granderson.
August 18, 2013 -- Updated 1502 GMT (2302 HKT)
A Tennessee man finds a long lost interview with Martin Luther King, Jr. in an attic in 2012.
August 19, 2013 -- Updated 2000 GMT (0400 HKT)
There is a secret sauce for the weak to beat the strong, say those who have studied and participated in successful nonviolent social movements.
September 1, 2013 -- Updated 2248 GMT (0648 HKT)
The summer of 1963 was hot. I'm not referring to the weather: Young black activists were beginning to question their commitment to nonviolent tactics.
August 26, 2013 -- Updated 0124 GMT (0924 HKT)
Today they are lawmakers, professors and grandparents. But 50 years ago, they were the young faces of the civil rights movement.
ADVERTISEMENT