In an exclusive essay on The Root, Bernice King commends President Obama declaring the Saturday before his Inauguration a national day of service. The daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., King says Obama’s day of service, two days before his Inauguration on the federal holiday celebrating her Dr. King, is the perfect way to celebrate her father’s legacy. She’s also honored the President swore in using Dr. King’s Bible, as well as Abraham Lincoln’s Bible. Dr. King would have turned 84 last week.
“It’s a reminder that my father’s dream wasn’t just about the opportunity to have more; it was also about the opportunity to do more,” King writes. “True freedom includes the freedom to serve our communities alongside our brothers and sisters no matter their race, religion or ethnicity.” She reminds us that her father was focused first and foremost on service and that he believed service is something that should happen in the community always, not just for a day. King hopes this day of service will set the tone for the year and for the President’s second term, inspiring Americans to be active in their communities.
This Bible is a part of Dr. King’s emphasis on service. Bernice King remembers her father flipping through the Bible Obama used today to prepare his sermons each Sunday at the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, sermons that often stressed the importance of service. Service was important to the leader because it helps not only the community but everyone involved to “grow as people”. “It helps us reach spiritual heights that we could never know if we focused only on ourselves.”