Officials lay wreaths at King memorial on Mall

FILE - In this Oct. 16, 2011, file photo, President Barack Obama speaks at the dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington. Monday's inaugural may be Obama's big day, but Martin Luther King Jr. will loom large over the festivities. A quirk in the calendar pushed Obama's public swearing-in onto the national holiday honoring the slain civil rights leader, and inaugural planners have taken pains to acknowledge that fact. Going into his second term, Obama seems to have put King at the front of his mind, too.  (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak) Enlargephoto

FILE - In this Oct. 16, 2011, file photo, President Barack Obama speaks at the dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington. Monday's inaugural may be Obama's big day, but Martin Luther King Jr. will loom large over the festivities. A quirk in the calendar pushed Obama's public swearing-in onto the national holiday honoring the slain civil rights leader, and inaugural planners have taken pains to acknowledge that fact. Going into his second term, Obama seems to have put King at the front of his mind, too. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

Dignitaries and celebrities participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the National Mall.

The Rev. Al Sharpton, Martin Luther King III, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, comedian Dick Gregory and actors Jamie Foxx and Chris Tucker were among those who attended Sunday's event.

Foxx told a crowd that packed the memorial that this is a "spectacular time" for African-Americans.

Sharpton called the weekend an "intersection of history," with the nation's first black president taking the oath of office for a second term the same weekend as the federal holiday commemorating King's life. Sharpton says there was a time when no one believed the country would have either a black president or a federal holiday for a black civil rights leader.

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