The United States is honoring the slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Junior, on the national holiday that bears his name. VOA White House Correspondent Paula Wolfson reports President Bush marked the occasion with a visit to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library in Washington, D.C.
The president spent the King Day holiday surrounded by children and the books they love to read.
He traveled a few blocks from the White House to the main Washington, D.C. library. During a visit to the children's reading room, he joined a librarian who was discussing the significance of Reverend King's life and legacy with a group of boys and girls of various races and religions.
"Martin Luther King is a towering figure in the history of our country. And it is fitting that we honor his service, and his courage and his vision," said Mr. Bush.
He hailed King's dedication to helping others, and urged all Americans to honor him by reaching out to those in need.
"And our fellow citizens have got to understand that by loving a neighbor like you would like to be loved yourself, by reaching out to someone who hurts, by simply living a life of kindness and compassion, you can make America a better place and fulfill the dream of Martin Luther King," added Mr. Bush.
The president said King Day is an opportunity to renew America's deep desire to be a nation of promise, justice and opportunity for all.
King, a Baptist minister, led a non-violent movement in the United States in the 1950's and 1960's for racial equality. He was instrumental in pushing the passage of landmark civil rights legislation in 1963, and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. His life ended tragically when he was assassinated in 1968 at the age of 39.