David Eberhardt, Baltimore
If you’re going to quote someone’s words, do so respectfully and say the words as they were originally said. The architect and sculptor of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial never should have taken it upon themselves to rewrite history by paraphrasing King’s words — just because they determined thatthe stone would look better with fewer words.
Now that the wrong will be righted, not only will King’s memorial look and read better, but I’m sure it would bring a smile to King’s face. Indeed, his truth, wisdom and courage are still marching on.
JoAnn Lee Frank, Clearwater, Fla.
To restore the original sense of Martin Luther King Jr.’s words, I suggest a single, 42-character line above the current inscription:
[If you want to say I was a drum major, say]
I was a drum major for justice,
Peace and righteousness
Dean Havron, Winchester
Few seem brave enough to talk truth about the blatantly obvious problem with the Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial. The sculpture does not look like King. Of course, a sculpture or a portrait is not expected to portray a person exactly the way a photograph would.
An artist crafts his or her work so that there is a nuanced alteration of the subject’s appearance for some artistic purpose, such as enhancing a character trait. But the sculptor failed miserably in this case. The portrayal is ugly, and King was not ugly. Those who chose the sculptor for this memorial made an egregious error.
Dennis K. Heffner, Annapolis
If the first two words (“I was”) were removed from the King paraphrase, the remaining words would then become the voice of the American people honoring King’s original statement.
Or perhaps the entire paraphrase could be removed from the stone and replaced with simply “I Have a Dream.”
Peter Princiotto, McLean