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“Our country has come a long way since that bright afternoon 50 years ago; yet our journey to justice is not complete,” Bush said.  

Bush said President Obama’s story reflects the promise of King’s words. Obama will speak Wednesday afternoon. 

“There on the National Mall our President, whose story reflects the promise of America, will help us honor the man who inspired millions to redeem that promise,” Bush and his wife said in the statement. 

Bush underwent unexpected heart surgery earlier this month to open a blocked artery. Doctors found the blockage during a routine checkup and implanted a stent to relieve it.

Former Presidents Bill ClintonBill ClintonLe Pen and the right wing hit a wall in French vote Bill Clinton jokes Clinton Center 'has been bugged' NYT: Comey distrusted Lynch on Clinton MORE and Jimmy Carter will also speak in front of the Lincoln Memorial Wednesday afternoon. 

No Republican elected officials are slated to take the podium Wednesday.