Inauguration Ceremonies open at Lincoln Memorial
4/12/2011, 4:39 p.m.
(January 19, 2009) President-elect Barack Obama was officially welcomed to the District Sunday with a superstar-studded concert at the Lincoln Memorial. Braving the blistering weather, hundreds of thousands of people of ages, races and nationalities gathered to kick off three days of inaugural activities.
The two- hour, outside event, called "We are One," featured a dream line-up of performances from Bruce Springsteen , Mary J. Blige, Beyonce, John Legend, Stevie Wonder, Bon Jovi, Sheryl Crow, John Mellecamp, Herbie Hancock, Josh Groban, U2, Usher, Shakira, James Taylor and Garth Brooks - all singing a selection of songs relevant to the occasion.
Also in attendance were singer/actress Queen Latifah, actors Denzel Washington, Samuel L. Jackson, reading historical passages from some of the nation's greatest leaders , and Jamie Foxx, who entertained the crowd with an Obama impersonation, which evoked laughter from the president-elect who watched from the front row of a heated, glass enclosure. Golfing sensation Tiger Woods also gave personal remarks.
Bono, the lead singer of Irish rock band U2, called Obama's victory: "not just an American dream but also an Irish dream, a European dream, an African dream, an Israeli and also a Palestinian dream."
An event of this scope - which has not been seen before or since the inauguration of Bill Clinton - is a true testament of the overwhelming popularity that has elevated Obama to the Oval Office.