BISMARCK - Martin Luther King Jr. Day was celebrated with singing at the Capitol.
Music from the Gospel Tabernacle Church choir from Minot rang from the west end of the legislative wing to the east reaches of the judicial wing. Across the road the Minot Air Force Base Service Gospel Choir sang in a celebration at the Heritage Center.
"Lord, I worship you because of who you are," sang 16-year-old DeAnna Henderson, leading off the Gospel Tabernacle choir in their first song.
Lorna Henderson, choir director, said the 19-member choir was "excited and honored" to be able to sing in the Capitol. The choir prepared eight songs for the event.
Reverend Henderson also gave the prayer for the House floor session.
At the same time the Gospel Tabernacle Church choir was singing, the Minot Air Force Base Service Gospel Choir was in the Russell Reid Auditorium at the Heritage Center. "How Excellent is thy name," they sang during one of their numbers, "In every nation, in every tongue."
Gov. John Hoeven spoke at the Heritage Center celebration. "That is what we believe in North Dakota, that it is important that we lift all people up," he said before beginning his prepared remarks.
Hoeven spoke briefly about today's inauguration of Barack Obama as the first ever black president, saying that this Martin Luther King Jr. Day was a monumental day in a monumental year. He also said the celebration was not just for the American people because of what our country means to the world.
The Air Force choir sang two numbers during the celebration.