CLAUDINE HELLMUTH
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Sunday, January 18, 2009
Obama's inaugural concert
Today we went to the Obama inaugural concert held in front of the Lincoln Memorial. Here are some photos!


crowd
The crowd went all the way from the Lincoln Memorial to past the Washington Monument.

helicopter
The president's helicopter, Marine 1, flies past the Washington Monument

lincoln
We managed to find a standing spot waaaaaay in the back near the World War II memorial

obamawave
Michelle and Barack Obama wave to the crowd as they take their seats for the big show

bono
U2 played two songs! We took a very short video too! See video below!



pc
Paul and I!


Paul wrote notes on this Facebook page, and I am posting them here for you to read!

We headed out from the condo about 12:00 p.m. and took the green line on the Metro to Archives/Navy Memorial. Surprisingly, the crowds were light in the subway as well as the way to the show. We encountered a few protesters as we approached Constitution Avenue.

As we got closer to the entrance, the crowds got more intense. Instead of waiting in the massive line to enter the reflecting pool area, we stayed behind the World War II memorial. The crowd wasn't too bad but the mall quickly filled up.

While waiting for the show to start, the Jumbotron close to us kept blacking out. When the video re-launched, we realized the source of the problem: they were using Windows XP for the operating system! ha! Go MAC! There were several short clips shown before the concert started including a sing-along with Elmo, a dancing segment with Ellen and a few stories of everyday Americans.

Shortly after 2:30 p.m., the Bidens walked on stage followed by the Obama family. Finally, the concert started! Denzel Washington kicked it off with an inspirational reading followed by Bruce Springsteen. He played 'Rising' with a beautiful choir backing him. That was pretty much the pattern for the entire show. Reading & song, reading & song, etc., etc. I can't remember the order of the performances so I'll just list the highlights and lowlights of the concert.

Reading highlights: Denzel Washington's intro, Tiger Woods' speech thanking the military and his father, a tribute to Lincoln by Tom Hanks, Queen Latifah's speech about how Eleanor Roosevelt stood up for Marian Anderson and let her sing at FDR's inauguration, George Lopez and Kal Penn, Jamie Foxx's impression of Obama while Steve Carrell looked on, Jack Black and Rosario Dawkin's appreciation of conservation efforts by Teddy Roosevelt, Samuel L Jackson's discussion of MLK and how he inspired the world, including four Irish lads who form the band U2 and Obama's closing remarks, of course!

Reading lowlights: There was some awkwardness before the speech when two bald eagles got tangled up on the arms of their handlers. We felt bad for the eagles as they really wanted to fly away.

Music highlights: U2 playing 'Pride' and 'City of Blinding Lights,' Stevie Wonder, Usher and Shakira performed 'Higher Ground,' will.i.am and Sheryl Crow's rendition of 'One Love,' John Mellencamp's 'Little Pink Houses' and Garth Brooks and a choir's performance of 'American Pie' and 'Shout' (which made us feel like we were at a wedding reception!)

It was an amazing event despite the insanity of trying to exit the mall. I loved how they tied in the stories of past presidents, the struggle of the civil rights movement, the wars we fought and the work our forefathers did to make this country great. I think everybody swelled with American pride afterward even though or toes were cold!
COMMENTS:
Great commentary Claudine! I knew I could count on you and Paul to bring this event to life (I guess I never got Twitter right). Keep up the good work and hope you enjoy yourselves! jood
 
THANK YOU for twittering and this post. We could only get the CNN coverage and they weren't allowed to tape the music parts as HBO was doing. And HBO doesn't like anyone outside the US or its territories.
I was EXCITED to know when they panned the audience that you & Paul were there somewhere!!!
 
Fabulous coverage . . . HBO is also repeating its coverage tonight at 11:30pm EST http://www.hbo.com/weareone
 
Thanks for sharing this with us! What a phenomenal opportunity to be a part of history.
 
I enjoyed your highlights on Twitter. It was the next best thing to being there.

BTW, I spent my day at the Queen's Ink today taking a class with Carol Wingert and learned you will be teaching there soon. How exciting!!
 
Wow Claudine, thanks so much for blogging about this! What a special moment. Hugs + keep warm! :)
 
Hi. thanks for posting, listening to HBO rerun while reading your post.....feel your cold pain, in st. louis it has been COLD, too. Now I guess we know what Washington and troops felt like at Valley Forge. . . well,... sort of.
 
thanks for sharing with your blog/twitter/art friends!

serra
 
Yay! I was with you in spirit! Wish I could've gone.
 
thanks for the commentary. sounds fun and crazy too.
 
very cool, thanks for posting!
 
I watched it on HBO. SO wish I could have been there. Comforted myself by noticing how cold everyone looked. Miss you!
 
Claudine THANK YOU so much for sharing your day with us... you did great! What an experience for you and Paul, something to remember for always.
I have butterflies in my tummy waiting for the Inauguration, I am so proud of the American people for this day. I never thought it would happen but it has and I want to shout HALLELUJAH. Change will come but it won't happen over night and I hope that the President is given the time to make that change. Tomorrow I will be there in spirit watching every bit of his Inauguration. Peace, xxx Dawn
 
I was SOOOO hoping you'd be out for some of the inauguration festivities so you could report back to us, your loyal readers :) Selfish, I know. But, for those of us who can't be there, the next best thing is to see it through the eyes of a real person like yourself, not some major media outlet. Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
You did a great job of covering the event and letting us know what it was really like to be there. I'm proud of you guys.

mummy
 
Doesn't this historic even just make you proud again to be an American? I know it does that very thing for me.
YAY Obama!!!
Peace & Love,
~Barb~
http://craft-therapy.blogspot.com
 
What a great time to be in Washington. We feel the vibes all over the world!
~Sharon
 
Thank you so much for sharing this! Definitely a great moment to be in Washington :)
 
I watched and Tivo'd! Lucky you two. How Exciting to be able to watch in person History in the Making. Looks like you had a Great time. Jamie
 
oh claudine!
thanks so much for the vicarious thrills via twitter and your blog! good ol' cox cable failed us on the hbo coverage- thank goodness for the internet! looked for you two in the crowd shots - no luck. your photos/coverage are great - and good to see a photo of you and Paul!
too excited for words for these days, have fun!!!
 
Really great pics and commentary! You're a lot braver than me. Even if I lived there I'd be home, too chicken to go out.
 
I got goosebumps just looking and reading. I am jealous and thrilled that you got to be a part of such a momentous occasion.
 
Thanks for sharing this. You're sooo lucky to be part of a historical moment. Keep warm.
 
thanks for sharing your day.
 
Would like to connect with you

Great blog, I have my own blog http://herdailydish.com. I would love to add you to my blog roll and hope you will do the same - let me know your thoughts. I am also part of www.ShesConnected.com you should check it out and add your profile, it's a great way to promote your business and blog.

I look forward to connecting with you and continuing to read your blog.

Best,
Ariel
herdailydish@gmail.com
 
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