WASHINGTON (AP) - Dignitaries and celebrities participated in a wreath-laying ceremony Sunday at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the National Mall.
The Rev. Al Sharpton called the weekend an "intersection of history," with the nation's first black president taking the oath of office for a second term the same weekend as the federal holiday commemorating King's life. Sharpton says there was a time when no one believed the country would have either a black president or a federal holiday for a black civil rights leader.
Click here to read Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream Speech".
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand released this statement commemorating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.:
"Today, as we gather in Washington see President Obama sworn-in for his second term, we also celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King. His dream of freedom, justice, and equality is the American dream.
"As we reflect on Dr. King's life and sacrifice, we must remain committed to his spirit of cooperation and collaboration as we face the challenges ahead. Dr. King knew there was a better future in store for America - but only as long as every single one of us dedicates our lives to reaching that promise. Seeing so many Americans on the mall today, coming together, to bend the arc of history is fitting.
"As Dr. King himself said, 'Let us rise up tonight with a greater readiness. Let us stand with a greater determination. And let us move on in these powerful days, these days of challenge to make America what it ought to be. We have an opportunity to make America a better nation.' May we all live up to his poignant words."