President Barack Obama will be using the bibles of Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr. for his inaugural swearing-in ceremonies taking place on Jan. 21.
The Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) recently announced that both Lincoln's and King's bibles will be stacked together for the swearing in of Obama. While Obama used the inaugural Bible of President Lincoln during his 2009 swearing-in, Dr. King's "traveling" Bible will now be added into the ceremony.
Steve Kerrigan, president and CEO of the PIC, explained the importance of Obama's usage of the Bibles in a press release.
"President Obama is honored to use these bibles at the swearing-in ceremonies," Kerrigan said. "On the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, this historic moment is a reflection of the extraordinary progress we've made as a nation."
King's children reacted to Obama using the civil rights leader and Baptist minister's Bible in the upcoming inauguration, expressing pride in the honor.
"I'm proud that my father's Bible will be used at the swearing-in ceremony of President Obama, and I hope that our great nation uses the moment to reflect on the enormous responsibility we have to serve our neighbors and communities," Martin Luther King, III said in thegrio.com report. "Thousands of Americans joined Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the National Mall in the fight for equality and justice fifty years ago, and I am excited that my father's legacy will be honored as thousands more join President Obama to begin his second term."
While the Constitution does not make it a requirement for a Bible to be used in the swearing-in ceremony, it has been a tradition for the holy text to be utilized in presidential inaugurations of the past.
Dr. King's daughter, Bernice A. King, spoke about the significance of Obama's use of her father's personal Bible in an evolving country.
"As an ordained minister, I feel that these two bibles represent the stride for freedom," King said in thegrio.com report. "One represents emancipation; the other represents inclusion into the fabric of the American experience – the freedom to participate in government, the freedom to peacefully coexist, and the freedom to prosper in life. We are honored as a family as we celebrate the second term inauguration of America's first African-American president in the 50th anniversary year of my father's 'I Have a Dream' speech.'"