Houston – We Are One Concert

“Now announcing our 44th President of the United States, President Barack Obama.” Though only a dress rehearsal with stand ins, the gathered crowd went wild. Although it was not the day, nor the time, everyone who had gathered to take pictures of the Capitol building, turned, looked and cheered. These people believed in hope and change that Obama has promised. This was just the beginning of a wonderful, inspirational day. After taking our fair share of pictures at the Capitol Building, we turned to the not so empty mall green behind us. The Portolettes were to be found lining the entirety of the sidewalk, the Jumbo Trons (viewing screens) and speakers were sporadically placed throughout. Walking down the mall we were not to forget to ride the Merry-Go-Round once or twice. The schools of people surrounding us on all sides, could be found sporting their version of Obama-wear, with a big smile or laugh plastered on their face. Although it was still early in the day, much before the Inauguration Concert – We Are One, the believers were out in full support. The news booths had been placed, and MSNBC booms were everywhere, scanning the crowds as many waved home, anxious to see if they had made it on TV. Police security was to be found riding around on small motorcycles enforcing the need for a permit to sell merchandise on the Mall. Making our way toward the Washington Monument and then Lincoln Memorial, swarms of people on all sides were crowding together to hear some of the promised stars performing. At the base of the Washington monument a FBI motorcade was placed, with sharp shooters standing on top of their trucks, carefully watching those courageous enough to speak out, and call attention to themselves. Among these people, the protesters of Abu Ghraib were seen wearing the typical orange jump suit, walking together single file with their heads down. 2:30 rolled around, and we were positioned above the reflecting pool looking at the crowd surrounding us. All waiting to listen to U2, Beyonce, John Legend, James Taylor, Stevie Wonder, Garth Brooks, Mary J. Blige Will.I.Am. Wyclef Jean and more along with many of the actors of our time, Steve Caroll, Denzel Washington, Tom Hanks, Jack Black and others. Standing among the throngs of people (estimated 300,000 people, although believed more) the chanting of Obama Obama filled the air after he had delivered his remarks re-assuring us, “It is you, Americans of every race and region and station who came here because you believe in what this country can be and because you want to help us get there. . . .” (Obama). Once finished, the hundreds of thousands of people that had come, needed somewhere to go. Lines coming out of Metro Stations could be seen for blocks , buses packed full of people traveling to their hotel, home or to dinner, while our entourage along with many other people walked down the middle of Constitution Avenue. Along our walk back to Chinatown, Kyle (from a previous conversation we had had) showed me the Wilson (District) building, where the citizens of the District of Columbia recently added a display calling to attention the amount they had paid in federal taxes paid this past year. This is to show, and bring attention to the fact that citizens in the District of Columbia do not have representation in congress, highlighting that they have taxation without representation. Hoping with the new turn of Obama, they will be able to receive representation. Reminiscing on our day over dinner we toasted to a new year, new beginnings and our new President, while the city prepared for the millions of people coming to show their own belief in change.


2 Responses

  1. Thanks for the update. We looked for the family in the crowd. It is all so exciting to watch this on TV and to also hear from you and family concerning the activities. I really enjoyed the concert especially Garth Brooks. Didn’t he get the crowd stirred up? What time did you arrive on the mall? You seemed to have been in a rather decent spot. We had snow on Sunday in Vermont .Take care.

    Love , The Grandparents from Vermont

  2. Great job! How about some photos of you?

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