Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Happy Inaguration Day 2009!

I am so excited that today is one of the most historical moments of my lifetime. In a few moments I will join the ranks of many and have my eyes glued to the big screen as Barack Obama is sworn in as the 44th President of the United States. The theme for this Inauguration Day is A New Birth of Freedom in honor of the 200th Anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would be proud to know that his dream has become a reality! Below is a schedule of some events for today's Inauguration and some photos taken by the Associated Press this morning:

Schedule of Inaugural Events

January 18

Time Event
8:00 AM Gates open to general public for the We Are One Inaugural Celebration. The Reflecting Pool area, JFK Hockey Fields and Constitution Gardens are open to the public. Space will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
12:00 Children's Inaugural Ball Noon-5 PM
2:30 PM We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial: A public celebration, free to the public.
The entire show will be broadcast live and for free on HBO and HBO.com. (Even though it is shown on HBO, anyone -- subscriber or not -- will be able to watch. Check your local cable/satellite listings for the channel in your area. The celebration will be rebroadcast at 7PM ET/PT and 11:30 PM ET/PT.

Musical performers scheduled for the event include Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Bono, Garth Brooks, Sheryl Crow, Renee Fleming, Josh Groban, Herbie Hancock, Heather Headley, John Legend, Jennifer Nettles, John Mellencamp, Usher Raymond IV, Shakira, Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor, will.i.am, and Stevie Wonder. Among those reading historical passages will be Jamie Foxx, Martin Luther King III, Queen Latifah and Denzel Washington. The Rt. Reverend V. Gene Robinson will give the invocation. Rob Mathes will be the music director and arranger for the backing band, which will support all of the artists. Additional performers will be announced as they are confirmed.

7:00 PM The "We Are One" inaugural celebration will be rebroadcast on HBO to all cable and satellite subscriber as an open feed -- you do not need to subscribe to HBO to watch this special event.

January 19 — Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Time Event
Day President-elect Obama and Vice President-elect Biden will participate in service activities to commemorate Dr. King.
8:00 PM "We Are The Future Concert" Kids' Inauguration Concert at the Verizon Center in downtown Washington, DC. Though it is free and open to the public, tickets are required. The concert will be show on The Disney Channel from 8:00 - 9:30 p.m. ET/PT and will be simulcast on Radio Disney.

January 20 — Inauguration Day

Time Event
8:00 AM Gates open for ticketed attendees -- if you have tickets, it will be wise to arrive very early as crowds will be huge and security heavy.
10:00 AM Preliminary festivities begin, including music by The United States Marine Band, The San Francisco Boys Chorus, and the San Francisco Girls Chorus.
11:00 AM Live internet broadcast of the inauguration begins at the Presidential Inaugural Committee web site. See the where to watch page for more information.
11:30 AM If you have tickets to the Inauguration ceremony, you must have passed through security by this time.
•Call to Order and Welcoming Remarks: Senator Dianne Feinstein
•Invocation: Dr. Rick Warren
•Aretha Franklin will sing
•Vice President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn into office
•Music composed by John Williams and performed by Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, Gabriela Montero, and Anthony McGill.

12:00 Noon As specified by the U.S. Constitution (20th Amendment), presidential terms of office begin and end at 12:00 noon on January 20. Barack Obama will take the oath of office, which is this simple, 35-word, statement:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
12:05 PM (approx) President Barack Obama will give his inaugural address, speaking to the nation and world for the first time as President of the United States. Miss the address? Watch it on CNN or read it at the inaugural committee site.
His address was followed by:

•Poem: Elizabeth Alexander
•Benediction: The Reverend Dr. Joseph E. Lowery
•The National Anthem: The United States Navy Band "Sea Chanters"

1:00 PM (approx) Inaugural Luncheon. For details on the menu and invited guests, see the news release.
2:30 PM (approx) Parade down Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the White House. If you have tickets, you need to be in your seats by 1:00 PM. There is open seating along Pennsylvania Avenue. For information on how to get to the parade route, for people with and without tickets, see the Inaugural Committee's parade information page.
Evening There are many inaugural balls held around Washington, DC. Some will be hosted by President Obama, others are just parties.
Balls Hosted by President Obama
For details, see the press release.

•Youth Inaugural Ball - Young Americans aged 18-35
•Obama Home States Inaugural Ball - Illinois and Hawaii invited guests
•Biden Home States Inaugural Ball - Delaware and Pennsylvania invited guests
•Eastern Inaugural Ball - CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT, PR, and USVI invited guests
•Mid-Atlantic Inaugural Ball - MD, VA, DC, NY, NJ, and WV invited guests
•Midwest Inaugural Ball - KS, IN, IA, MI, MN, ND, NE, OH, SD, WI, and MO invited guests
•Southern Inaugural Ball - AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, and TX invited guests
•Western Inaugural Ball - AK, CA, ID, MT, OR, WA, WY, AZ, CO, NV, NM, UT, OK, GUAM/AS invited guests
•Neighborhood Inaugural Ball, hosted by President Obama (New 1/5)
Washington Convention Center. Low Cost and open to public.
•Commander-in-Chief's Ball, hosted by President Obama (New 1/1)
For men and women in uniform only.

Unofficial Balls

•All American Ball
•Blue Diamond Ball
•Change Has Come Inaugural Gala
•"The Dream Come True" Inauguration Gala (7:30 PM EST – 1:30 AM)
•Hawaii State Society Inaugural Ball
•The Hill Ball
•Hip Hop Inaugural Ball
•Inaugural Purple Ball
•Link Live Inaugural Gal
•MTV Be the Change Inaugural Ball
•People's Inaugural Ball (7:00 PM)
•State Society of Arizona Inaugural Ball
•Unity Ball

January 21

Time Event
8:30 AM National Prayer Service, led by The Rev. Sharon Watkins, at the National Cathedral. This non-denominational service will include prayers, readings and hymns delivered by religious leaders of a variety of faiths. This is an invitation-only event.