December 15, 2012

Regarding the Dec. 12 front-page article “Inscription on King memorial to be removed”:

While I don’t have an issue with changing the inscription on the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, which states, “I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness,” I do see a major problem with the cost. The article projected the cost at $700,000 to $900,000. You can build a nice house for that, including the structure, utility connections, fixtures and appliances.

I don’t understand how there would be significant material costs to complete the work. Even if you allow $20,000, a hefty sum when compared with the cost of building a small car, this would leave you almost $700,000 for labor costs at the low end of the projected estimate. Assuming the work takes three months, the labor rate would be higher than the going rate for the president of the United States.

I hope that the team working on this effort is asking for a detailed cost estimate. The current tab would rob the memorial of future maintenance needs.

Adrian Fremont, Annapolis

To fix the “drum major” quote on the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, just change the “I” to a “He,” and all will be well. That minor change would preserve the true meaning of King’s words — that if one wants to call him a drum major, call him one for justice — at what has to be a far more modest cost. With all the children who are hungry or without a home this holiday season, spending $700,000 to $900,000 to remove the inscription altogether would be an insult to everything King stood for. Raise the money but spend it on something that would be a true memorial to this wonderful man.

Katherine A. Meyer, Washington