WASHINGTON (AP) - 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 "the spirit of God that infused that movement."
Five decades after the historic March on Washington, Myrlie Evers-Williams sees a "retrenchment" in this country when it comes to civil rights.
The widow of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers told those gathered for the 50th anniversary ceremony in Washington that, "We know today that everything is not okay."
Evers-Williams said there's too much of an emphasis in today's world on individuality -- and how people can reach their own personal goals.
She challenged a new generation of parents and leaders to work on community building, saying "it is your problem ... these are our children."
The country will reach that mountaintop that Martin Luther King Jr. talked about, she said, but "it will take each and every one of us."
Speakers today include Oprah Winfrey, Forest Whitaker, Jamie Foxx, President Barack Obama and former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter. Performers will include singers BeBe Winans, LeAnn Rimes and the girl group Identity4Pop, among others.
The "Let Freedom Ring" commemoration is scheduled to run until 4 p.m.
Bell-ringing commemorations are also planned across the country at more than 100 churches and other sites in almost every state.
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