President Obama also spoke at the ceremony. Conscious of the current economic conditions facing millions of Americans, President Obama tied his remarks to the passion and perseverance displayed by King and others during the civil rights movement. Following King's lead, the President argued, Americans can find the faith and strength to realize that a brighter future lies ahead if one is willing to fight for it:
"It is precisely because Dr. King was a man of flesh and blood, and not a figure of stone, that he inspires us so. His life, his story, tells us that change can come if you don't give up. He would not give up no matter how long it took. Because in the smallest hamlets, in the darkest slums, he had witnessed the highest reaches of the human spirit. . . That is why we honor this man - because he had faith in us.
Here is President Obama's speech at the Martin Luther King Jr. dedication ceremony: