House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) said President-elect Obama's inauguration is "vindication" and validation" for those who believed in Martin Luther King Jr.

"I have been blessed to live to see the fulfillment of that dream," Clyburn said on MSNBC on Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day. "So his dream is being validated tomorrow. And so this is a real V-Day."

Clyburn, who participated in civil rights protest in the South as a student, said that he never thought that he would live to see a black man take the presidential oath of office.

"This is just almost unreal for me," he said.

He said he was first overcome with emotion on Election Night, which he spent with his family.

"My children were just overcome. And watching them have this kind of feeling, it was so fulfilling to me because I felt vindicated -- I told people the one word that I could use, is that those of us who decided that we were going to stick with this system and do whatever we can to help make it a better place -- we were vindicated by the election," he said.