President of Presidential Inaugural Committee on why 2013 is important for black community

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Souvenir vendor holds a tee-shirt as preparations continue for the Presidential Inauguration on January 20, 2013 in Washington, DC. The U.S. capital is preparing for the second inauguration of U.S. President Barack Obama, which will take place on January 21. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Souvenir vendor holds a tee-shirt as preparations continue for the Presidential Inauguration on January 20, 2013 in Washington, DC. The U.S. capital is preparing for the second inauguration of U.S. President Barack Obama, which will take place on January 21. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

“It really is a great moment of pride for all Americans,” Kerrigan elaborated, “but particularly for those who have struggled so hard through the Civil Rights Movement and through all the generations from the Emancipation Proclamation on to fulfill the wishes and dreams and hopes of Abraham Lincoln and Dr. King. The president has said this many times. His entire life would not be what it is where it not for those two men, what they believed in, and what they fought for.”

As this train pulls into the station at Washington, D.C.’s Union Station, the young woman with her carefully attended hair, the elderly couple, and all the throngs who have joined us at station stops as we have shot towards our destination will meld into one people in our capital, to once again savor the achievement and promise of Obama’s presidency.

But Keriggan, like the president, also wants all those who attend to roll up their sleeves — even as they prepare to party — to make this weekend a time of service.

“It really is a great moment for our country and for our history, and a great opportunity for all Americans to participate in service in Dr. King’s name,” he told theGrio. “We are seeing huge enthusiasm, and energy, and excitement for this inaugural. We’ve had over 200,000 people sign up online to participate in our National Day of Service. We have thousands of events all across the country in all 50 states and in our territories. So, there is a great sense of energy, and excitement, and passion for this president, this inauguration, and for service that Dr. King represented so well.”

Taking the time to serve today will unite all Americans wherever they are seeking to partake in the spirit of Inauguration through the shared penchant for community building that both President Obama and Dr. King represent for many blacks.

“I encourage folks to go to 2013PIC.org and download our mobile app so they can find ways to serve, ways to get around the mall on Inauguration Day, and sign up for an opportunity to make our country a better place,” Keriggan recommended for those interested in participating.

Follow Alexis Garrett Stodghill on Twitter at @lexisb.