In a ceremony which included music from Aretha Franklin, President Barack Obama gave a rousing speech yesterday at a memorial dedication for Martin Luther King Jr.  After the morning’s ceremony, a reception was held at the White House in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. and his family.

An official White House blog explains that the memorial was opened earlier this year but the dedication ceremony was postponed because of Hurricane Irene.

President Obama attended the ceremony along with his family and the Vice President was also there.

In his speech, which was well received by the audience, Obama said:

“For this day, we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s. return to the National Mall. In this place, he will stand for all time, among monuments to those who fathered this nation and those who defended it; a black preacher with no official rank or title who somehow gave voice to our deepest dreams and our most lasting ideals, a man who stirred our conscience and thereby helped make our union more perfect.”

Obama also touched on the troubled times that the US and its people are currently facing and said that people should draw strength and inspiration from the struggle that Luther King battled to overcome, and as Obama prepares to fight for a second term in power, he may need to draw on some of that strength and inspiration himself.

President Obama also reminded the audience that it had been nearly 50 years since Luther King marched on Washington D.C and delivered the “I have a dream” speech.

Obama finished by saying:

“As tough as times may be, I know we will overcome. I know there are better days ahead. I know this because of the man towering over us. I know this because all he and his generation endured — we are here today in a country that dedicated a monument to that legacy. “

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