Obama to take oath on two Bibles; Dr King's family honoured
Washington: When US President Barack Obama takes his oath on Sunday, he will be using two Bibles - one that was owned by Abraham Lincoln, and one that belonged to Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr had a profound impact on America, and his example is the central theme of President Obama's second inauguration, reports CBS News.
Obama will also be facing the Lincoln Memorial, where King delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech 50 years ago. Martin Luther King III, Dr King's eldest son, said it is an "extraordinary honour" to his family that one of his father's Bibles will be used.
The Bible is the one that Dr King used for his first sermon at the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, where he was pastor in 1950. It also served as one of his "travelling Bibles" which he used to preach unity. He said that Americans, as a nation come together during times of crisis.
They roll up their sleeves whether there’s a tsunami, a hurricane, tornado, he said, adding that if the countrymen could keep that spirit without crisis, America would be an incredible nation.
That "roll-up-your-sleeves" spirit that King talks about is what he hopes the holiday celebrating his father will continue to be.
Taking place each year on the third Monday in January, the MLK Day of Service is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service -- "a day on, not a day off”.
Hundreds of thousands of Americans will engage in service projects, he said, adding that the hope is people don't do it only during the weekend, but throughout the year so that they can make America a better nation.