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On MLK Day, President Obama Urges Service To Others

Tracy Bloom |
January 16, 2012 | 2:03 p.m. PST

Deputy Editor

Evoking Martin Luther King, Jr.'s words about serving others, President Obama spent the holiday honoring the slain civil rights leader on Monday by doing volunteer work with his family. The president volunteered at Browne Education Center in Washington along with his wife Michelle Obama and eldest daughter Malia, 

During a brief speech at the center, Obama urged volunteerism. "There's no better way to celebrate Dr. King than to do something on behalf of others." he said.

The president also addressed the controversy over an inscription on the MLK memorial at the National Mall, which is being changed after critics charged it did not accurately reflect King's words. The inscription, which was taken from a sermon known as "The Drum Major Instinct," currently reads: "I was a drum major for justice, peace and righteousness."

The paraphrased quote was taken from the following phrase: "Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter."

Said Obama: "What he really said was all of us can be a drum major for service, all of us can be a drum major for justice. There is nobody who can't serve, nobody who can't help somebody else."

The president said this is the third time his family participated in a community service project to celebrate King's birthday.

Watch the Obama's full remarks below:

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