WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is claiming his place in Martin Luther King's 50-year-old dream, holding himself up as a symbol of the change King envisioned.
But he also pointed to the nation's lingering economic disparities as evidence that King's hopes remain unfulfilled.
Obama spoke at Lincoln Memorial Wednesday on the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington.
With Biblical references and the cadences of a preacher, Obama used the refrain, quote, "because they marched," as he recited the achievements of the civil rights movement.
Laws changed, legislatures changed and even the White House changed, Obama said. But he says income inequality, troubled inner cities and stagnant wages amid growing corporate profits show that challenges remain.
The Rev. Bernice King opened the celebration of her father's famous "I Have a Dream" speech Wednesday with an interfaith service in Washington.
King said that her father, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., is often remembered as a freedom fighter for equal rights and human rights. But she said he was most importantly a man of faith. She says he was a prophet and "faith leader" and it was that "and the spirit of God that infused that movement."
Bernice King said the faith community must continue to lead every movement for justice and equality.
The opening service Wednesday included Jewish, Muslim, Catholic, Sikh, and other Christian faith leaders celebrating King's legacy.