The crowd went all the way from the Lincoln Memorial to past the Washington Monument.
The president's helicopter, Marine 1, flies past the Washington Monument
We managed to find a standing spot waaaaaay in the back near the World War II memorial
Michelle and Barack Obama wave to the crowd as they take their seats for the big show
U2 played two songs! We took a very short video too! See video below!
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!
I was EXCITED to know when they panned the audience that you & Paul were there somewhere!!!
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!!
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
Peace & Love,
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!!!
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