Sunday, January 18, 2009

Inauguration Opening Ceremony

Arrived in DC early today. There are six of us...me, mom, nephews Justin and Gregory, and cousins Shawnine and Monique. I am so thrilled to be here, despite the freezing temperatures (thanks Rory for the socks!). We drove down from New Jersey after visiting overnight with family and we kept driving over frozen lakes and ponds! It was 11 degrees last night, but was 30 here this afternoon. We checked into the hotel and immediately headed to the Lincoln Memorial for the inauguration concert. Unfortunately, we didn't make it there until about 2 pm, just as they closed the seating area in the Lincoln Memorial area. However, they had big screens and speakers on the lawn in front of the Washington Monument and we found a perfect space to see and hear the concert. I cannot even imagine what the crowds will be like Monday and especially Tuesday because it was packed, almost shoulder to shoulder in many spots. It was a sea of people from the Lincoln Memorial to the Monument. I posted some pictures of the crowd - there were even people in the trees!. The concert itself was amazing, hopefully you had a chance to watch it - I think it was shown on HBO. The many speakers evoked the Lincolnesque feel surrounding the inauguration, as well as Martin Luther King Jr., and Obama's own messages of hope, patriotism and change. Denzel Washington, Tom Hanks, Tiger Woods and Forrest Whitaker were some of my favorite speakers. The music was awesome...all American classics! Stevie Wonder, U2, wil.I.am, John Legend. Garth Brooks got the crowd going with American Pie and Shout. Obama spoke briefly - hopefully the video attachment comes through. Obama's speech followed by Beyonce's signing of America the Beautiful brought many in the crowd to tears.

We roamed around a bit after the concert taking in a few sites. The monuments are beautiful at night. I think Justin, Gregory, and Monique are quite impressed with the sites, especially the White House. This was a great start to our inauguration activities. Would like to post more today, but feel like I have been up for 2 days! Hope to post more plus pictures tomorrow. I think Justin and Gregory will add to the post tomorrow too.

Oh, and in case you are wondering why my mom has a cane in the pictures, she managed to sprain her knee a week ago. On the flip side, she found one that folds right open to a chair (Linda J - thanks for that suggestion).

2 comments:

Tammeil said...

it was amazing on hbo. Aly and I watched it in my bed. We sang too! I cried. Can't imagine the feeling there. I'm glad you posted the great pictures. Can't wait to read more. With you in spirit!

Tracy Dem said...

Hi Lea,

I was wondering if you were going to be at the concert. I watched it online..twice. Was at a site where others were liveblogging their experience as they were watching it and many were crying throughout the event.

How'd you like how Beyonce sang the Tracy Dems meeting song? Did you notice how different the songs about America sound now that Obama is President? Today sure put to rest that ridiculous flag lapel issue, doesn't it?

I am glad that you and the crew are there safe and sound. We all wish you the best!