President Obama swears in using both Martin Luther King Jr's Bible as well as Abraham Lincon's Bible. (Photo: CBS News)
UNDATED (CNN) -- President Obama's public inauguration this year falls on the federal holiday remembering Martin Luther King, Junior. The youngest child of the slain civil rights leader is taking a special Bible to Washington that'll be an integral part of the swearing-in ceremony.
Bernice King took her father's Bible from its enclosed case at the King Center to bring it to the president. She shows its worn pages and her father's handwritten notes from 1954. She says, "I'm sure that this traveled with him as he left Montgomery, because I saw a Monday date. He'd leave on Monday and fly back to Boston so he was studying and meditating."
Bernice King says the president's second term perhaps is even more important than the first. She says, "There's a lot of pain, a lot of hurt, we went through a lot of tragedy last year. A lot of political divisiveness and it's just time for that healing and reconciliation and daddy's work represented that."
King says she believes President Obama, in trying to reunite the country, is striking the right tone. She says, "He could have after the election said, 'How do you like me now?' Do you know what I'm saying? It's hard some people can be sore losers that's just the reality. The president sets the tone in the nation if nobody else does. He's compassionate and Doctor King was compassionate. And he's committed to the next generation."
So what does the King family think President Obama should do next? She says, "Right before he was assassinated, he was in Memphis, Tennessee to bring attention to the work of the sanitation workers, those that were not receiving adequate wages and they were not being treated fairly. And he was in the midst of planning this poor peoples' campaign, and I'd like to see more emphasis placed on poverty in our nation."
King specifically singles out the African-American and Latino communities. She says, "I know there's always been a concern about the African-American community not feeling, perhaps, that the issues relating to our community have been addressed effectively and I think there's some room for improvement in that regard."
When asked if gay rights is the next civil rights battle, she says, "I don't like to speak for him on issues that back then he didn't have an opportunity to speak on because then I'm injecting you know what he would do. I, certainly, think that my father first and foremost... Hh saw everybody as important, regardless of how you define yourself and whatever category you fit in... your personhood. And he felt everybody deserves dignity and respect."
King is encouraging folks to use her father's holiday and the inauguration as an occasion to serve. She says, "Although we have come a long way, we still have to finish the work of Dr. King."
President Obama will be sworn in with King's Bible. Abraham Lincoln's Bible will also be used.