President Bush has praised the late Martin Luther King, Junior as "a voice of conscience" whose words and actions continue to inspire courage.

Mr. Bush made the statement Friday as America observes January 20 as a national holiday in honor of the late civil rights leader.

Mr. Bush said Dr. King's non-violent activities and contributions serve as reminders that people "should not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

The president said as Americans honor Dr. King's accomplishments, they also pledge to be a nation in which all people of every race realize the promise of America.

Mr. Bush cited the "No Child Left Behind Act" that passed last year as an example that could fulfill Dr. King's dream. He said the legislation ushered an era that will produce better results for all students.