Aug. 28, 1963 was one of the most important days in the Civil Rights Movement. It's when the March on Washington took place in the nation's capital, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech (also the movement's defining speech) in front of the Lincoln Memorial. In 2011, a new memorial for Dr. King was dedicated and it has undergone work to remove the "drum major" quote from the side of the monument in preparation for the event's 50th anniversary.
Bad news: It probably won't be finished on time.
According to the Associated Press, executive architect Ed Jackson, Jr. said that a dispute has occurred over the last 10 days or so regarding the proper way to refinish the area where the inscription was removed. Jackson added that this particular side of the memorial has remained unfinished because Worcester Eisenbrandt Inc., the main contractor, isn't insured to finish the sandblasting the way it was originally doneâ€”with steel pellets.
Lei Yixin, the sculptor who crafted the memorial, has to leave D.C. on Aug. 20 and is reportedly "furious" that the work won't be finished. Lei's son, Ke Shi, told the Washington Post he is puzzled as to why the National Park Service won't allow his father to handle the sandblasting himself. Carol Johnson, spokeswoman for the National Park Service, said that Lei could supervise NPS specialists as they handled the sandblasting.
DCist adds that Johnson told the Post that many attendees probably won't even notice the incomplete work. That's not the point. Everyone knew this day was coming and understands its magnitude, or at least should. The work should be completed on time just out of respect.