The focus of this year's ceremony was using King's example to solve some of the biggest problems facing North Carolina and the nation.
“He pushed us all to be better, to think differently,” Perdue said of King.
“To paraphrase an old spiritual insight, surely we are not what we ought to be, we are not what we one day will be in God's grace but thank God almighty we are not what we used to be,” First Baptist Church Dr. Christopher Chapman said during the event.
Keynote speaker Dr. James Forbes said King would want the nation to fix the system of greed that triggered the recent recession.
“I want King's birthday to help this nation because our nation at times proves to be out of balance,” Forbes said.
Perdue urged state employees to help secure a trustworthy system of government for the people they serve.
The annual event also honors a state employee who has made significant contributions to human and race relations with the Dr. John Larkins award. This year's winner was the late Donice Harbor who worked in the governor's office.
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