Obama has already turned the climate of fear to hope. He has already met expectations by bringing people together in such an optimistic fever. He already has laid the groundwork for change by speaking of change. He spoke the word. It is our job to join him in service and love to our fellow man. We can lift each other up and help each other survive any recession.
So many children and young people are now inspired by the magnificent optimism and the coming together of this diverse, peaceful crowd.
Soundbites: "What you can build, not what you can destroy. Old hatreds will slip away..."
Earlier the Obamas took part in a traditional Inauguration Day service at St. John’s Episcopal Church across the the White House, where evangelist Bishop T.D. Jakes read from Daniel 3:19 – “In times of crisis, good men must stand up. God always sends the best men into the worst times.”
The Obamas – who went to the service without their young daughters – were greeted by the Rev. Luis Leon just before 9 a.m. The service took place under a stained glass window depicting the Last Supper, with an American flag draped nearby.
The church has hosted the prayer service for the president-elect 10 times on inauguration morning, dating back to Franklin Roosevelt in 1933.
Continuing in the same chapter from Daniel, Jakes read, “You cannot change what you will not confront. This is a moment of confrontation in this country. There’s no way around it…This is not a time for politeness or correctness, this is a time for people to confront issues and bring about change.”
TD Jakes read from Daniel 3:19 and used the scripture to offer PEOTUS a series of four lessons for his administration.
1 – “In time of crisis, good men must stand up. God always sends the best men into the worst times.”
2 – “You cannot change what you will not confront. This is a moment of confrontation in this country. There’s no way around it…This is not a time for politeness or correctness, this is a time for people to confront issues and bring about change.”
3 – “You cannot enjoy the light without enduring the heat. The reality is the more brilliant, the more glorious, the more essential the light, the more intense the heat. We cannot separate one from the other.”
4 – “Extraordinary times require extraordinary methods. This is a historical moment for us and our nation and our country, and though we enjoy it and are inspired by it and motivated by it.”
After his four lessons, Jakes turned from the crowd and looked directly at Obama.
“The problems are mighty and the solutions are not simple,” Jakes said, “and everywhere you turn there will be a critic waiting to attack every decision that you make. But you are all fired up, Sir, and you are ready to go. And this nation goes with you. God goes with you.
The inauguration quartet was comprised of cellist Yo-Yo Ma, violinist Itzahk Perlman, clarinetist Anthony McGill and pianist Gabriela Montero.
Michelle Obama is looking spectacular, and the precious daughters Sasah and Melea look adorable.
HISTORY IN THE MAKING ON THE MALL
It is the artist's privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart.. Faulkner
The calm order and beauty of the Obama Inaugural Celebration absolutely sent chills down my spine. I feel so excited about the future now. America is back. I am blown away watching this concert and these gifted world-class artists and superstars.
Shakira, Beyonce and Sheryl Crowe looking gorgeous and sounding hot. Tiger Woods honoring the military. Springsteen, Seeger...Tom Hanks giving a tribute to Abraham Lincoln. Jack Black, Laura Linney, Steve Carell, Denzel Washington... Renee Fleming, Josh Groban... Bettye LaVette (the MOST SEXY SOUL VOICE!!) and Jon Bon Jovi teaming up on Sam Cooke's "A Change Is Gonna Come"; John Legend (LOVE HIS VOICE!) and James Taylor (My old fave)... Herbie Hancock on keyboards, Will.I.Am and Sheryl Crow performed Bob Marley's "One Love." And I never knew how great Garth Brooks is!! "God Bless America, God Bless the world, Love one another!" He had the crowd up on their feet. What a fantastic event.
Washington Post: Some of the world's biggest artistic egos cooperated yesterday to honor both history and Obama, who sat onstage with his wife and daughters, frequently bobbing his head in time with the music and enjoying the almost inconceivable lineup that drew hundreds of thousands to the Mall. Where else could you see the biggest stars in pop music, as well as the likes of Tom Hanks, Queen Latifah, Denzel Washington and Tiger Woods on one stage -- a stage overlooked by the stoic stone gaze of Abraham Lincoln.
"Hello, America," Obama said. "I want to thank all the speakers and performers for reminding us, through song and through words, just what it is that we love about America." The free mega-concert signaled a departure from the Bush administration's frequent efforts to distance itself from Hollywood. Obama seemed to make clear with the event that he was returning to the celebrity-friendly days when Democrats last occupied the White House.
Producers had said beforehand they wanted to stage a thematically coherent as well as entertaining show, and they pulled it off with songs, readings and film clips. Although less than two hours long, it had the excitement and fullness of a LiveAid concert.
Most performers covered other people's hits with backing from the concert's official band. The Rev. Gene Robinson, the openly gay Episcopal bishop, delivered the invocation, calling for unity. Bruce Springsteen opened the show with his own "The Rising," a rousing rendition supported by a 125-voice female chorus in resplendent red gowns. John Mellencamp sang his own signature "Pink Houses," backed by a 60-member Baptist choir. The trio of James Taylor, John Legend and Jennifer Nettles joyously performed Taylor's "Shower the People."
U2 landed the honor of doing two of their own songs -- the anthemic "Pride (In the Name of Love)" and "City of Blinding Lights," which Obama had used at campaign events. Lead singer Bono said Obama had specifically requested the latter. Interviewed afterward, Bono said the president-elect's theme of hope -- and Obama himself -- represented a "melody line that is now contagious. It's a pop song."
Even Bono felt awed to be there. "We don't do humble as much as we should, but we were truly humbled this afternoon," he said.
The afternoon had the feel of a movie matinee, a greatest hits review and a history lesson. Some 14 actors read from dramatic scripts invoking the words and accomplishments of presidents Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan, with occasional detours into significant chapters of the civil rights movement. Queen Latifah, for example, introduced the story of contralto Marian Anderson, who was banned by the whites-only Daughters of the American Revolution from performing at DAR Constitution Hall but got to sing at the Lincoln Memorial with an assist from first lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Then Josh Groban joined Heather Headley, with backing from the Gay Mens Chorus of Washington, to cover "My Country 'Tis of Thee" -- the very song that Anderson used to open her performance in 1939.
Another historical highlight arrived with Springsteen joining 89-year-old folk singer Pete Seeger to lead the crowd -- the president-elect included -- in a singalong of Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land." Seeger made sure to include stanzas of the song not often sung at events of this official magnitude, including protest sentiments and references to Depression-era poverty.
Tiger Woods introduced the Naval Academy Glee Club, which performed with soprano Renee Fleming.
Perhaps the only off moment came with the introduction of two American eagles -- named Challenger and Mr. Lincoln -- before Obama spoke. The crowd seemed a bit perplexed watching the tethered birds flap their wings as their handler held them aloft while a military color guard looked on. The show's producers should have heeded the old showbiz adage: Never work with animal acts.
The enthusiastic crowd stretched from the stage to the Washington Monument. Carolyn Bacchus and her father Jim from Davidson, N.C., said they were waiting to clear security when a couple came up to them and handed them two coveted blue tickets, giving them access to the very front of the stage area.
"We don't know why they gave us tickets," Jim Bacchus said. And 18-year-old Carolyn marveled, "I got pictures with Bon Jovi. I gave him my Obama button. He was onstage wearing my Obama button."
At the edge of the crowd, DeAnna Tisdale, a 23-year-old from Jackson, Miss., said she found the experience transcendent. "When I look out here and see all the people supporting not just a man but a movement, it represents a shift in thought, a shift in action. Music always reflects how people feel."
There were many stirring, even tear-inducing moments. Some started crying when Obama spoke. Others welled up at U2's performance of "Pride," connecting to the significance of hearing it at the site of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech 46 years ago and on the day before King's birthday will be celebrated.
As Bono himself put it: "That was amazing. . . . This land isn't my land. But it never looked as beautiful as I looked out on that sea of people and possibility that this guy represents."
But perhaps not as amazing as watching the all-star lineup join in a chorus with Beyoncé as she sent off the crowd with a soulful, emotional version of "America the Beautiful."