COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- The three leading Democratic presidential candidates spoke this afternoon to those gathered at the Statehouse in Columbia to honor slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Junior. Illinois Senator Barack Obama, former North Carolina Senator John Edwards and New York Senator Hillary Clinton talked to the hundreds at the rally. Obama talked about the need for unity. He says the nation must work to remove what he called barriers to justice and equality. Edwards says the presence of a black man and a woman among the leading candidates speaks to the progress the nation has made since King led the civil rights movement. But he says much remains to be done. Clinton says those of King's era laid an important foundation for improvement. But she says the stakes are high in this year's election to continue the progress. (Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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