Bernice King(Photo: David Goldman, AP)
(USA TODAY) -- Bernice King won't be at President Obama's inauguration, but she and her father will be there in spirit. The nation's first black president will take his oath of office using a Bible from Martin Luther King Jr.
"The fact that the president is using daddy's Bible is heart-warming for me," Bernice King said Monday on CNN's Starting Point program. "Because my father was first and foremost a preacher, pastor. It reminds people of that."
Inauguration Day falls on the Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday, and his daughter will speak at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, where her father was baptized and later was a co-pastor. King, the youngest of the King children, is the only one of her siblings to follow her father's calling into the ministry.
In her CNN interview, King reflected on the significance of the first black president taking his oath on a day honoring her father. She said the family did some repairs to the family Bible, "so it wouldn't fall apart when the president places his hand on it."
"My father was such a healing leader, and so was Abraham Lincoln," she said on CNN. "And (so is) our president in these times because the nation is so divided."
Obama is "in one of the interesting positions where we'll have to find a way to bring the nation together to heal the nation." King said she intends to call for "healing and reconciliation, in light of the gun discussions and discourse going now, that we've got to really consider creating a more non-violent society."