Today, Monday, January 21st, was the second and final inauguration of this nation’s 44th President, President Barack Obama. It was a star-studded event with musicians like Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Kelly Clarkson and James Taylor on the program. And, each audience member seemed to be looking on in adoration throughout the ceremony. Senator Charles (Chuck) Schumer (D -NY) was the Inaugural Ceremonies Chairman. And, his efforts shone through in the ceremony itself.
It was truly a day filled with pomp and circumstance. Did you watch it? Well, if you didn’t, you should have. Let me start by saying that Michelle O’s bangs were remarkably hot. She looked so retro chic it was almost distracting. There were a lot of high points and a few lulls. But, on this momentous day, Martin Luther King Jr. day, the ceremony was an historic moment that all will look back fondly on.
There was a steady stream of patriotic musical selections evoking feelings of loyalty and devotion. For example, the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir sang Battle Hymn of the Republic with stellar precision. And the illustrious James Taylor sang America the Beautiful. Both selections flowed seamlessly into the reverent proceedings.
To start the ceremony, Merlie Evers-Williams delievered a heartfelt Inaugural Prayer. The prominent black figure and wife of notable civil rights leader, Medgar Evers, presented this nation’s 44th President in prolific fashion. She offered thanks for our freedoms in this country and asked for blessings for our leaders and our future. In all, her words were poignant and moving.
Like Evers, President Obama’s speech was a strong explication of the respect and esteem these speakers hold for this country. Some felt as though the President’s speech was a little too political. He laid out a broad plan for his last four years in office mentioning marriage equality, immigration reform, gun safety, and social welfare issues as his primary concerns leading into his next term. And, with the crowd cheering, he seemed to show more resolve and confidence then ever before that these things might actually be accomplished. But, for those who supported the President last November, the speech likely rekindled the fires that caused them to do so in the first place.
Unsurprisingly, Kelly Clarkson delievered a stellar rendition of My Country ‘Tis of Thee even though she was once an out and out supporter of failed Republican presidential candidate, Ron Paul. Nonetheless, her heartfelt performance was a great moment in today’s ceremony.
Unlike the excitement of the preceding events, there was a bit of a lull when the Inagural Poet, Richard Blanco, gave his oratory on the Capitol. The poem, One Today, illustrated for us a walk down the streets of our America, unique to each of us. But, it may have confused a lot of people. Sadly, I am not sure folks will remember Blanco’s poem in the way he had intended. What did you think?
To cap off the ceremony, Beyoncé belted out the Star Spangled Banner with professional accuracy. I am not going to lie, I listened to it ten times already. And, I am not guilty about it at all. She looked amazing. She sang that song around the corner and back. And, it really could not have been better.
At the closing of Beyoncé’s epic performance, the political VIPs exited to dine on New England lobster, Ace of Cake delicacies, and the rest of a 3000 calorie meal at the inaugural luncheon. Overall, it was a beautiful, elegant, and well-planned Inauguration Day. Martin Luther King, Jr. would be quite proud to see that almost 50 years after delivering his I Have a Dream speech at the mall, President Obama’s Oath of Office is a preeminent example of his work. On this Inauguration and MLK Day, I hope that you’ll be thinking about the history we are making and living in at this moment and revelling in the gifts you have right now.
Use this link to see the entire 2013 Inauguration Ceremony.