Around 700,000 people gathered Monday morning to attend the 57th inauguration, where Barack Obama publicly took the Oath of Office a day after being officially sworn in as the 44th President of the United States.
New York Senator Charles Schumer called the ceremony to order and introduced the inauguration’s theme, “Faith in America’s Future.” Civil rights activist and former NAACP chairwoman, Myrlie Evers-Williams, and poet Richard Blanco served as guest speakers, with Evers-Williams delivering the invocation and Blanco reciting a poem. The day’s performers included the Grammy award-winning Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir, James Taylor, Kelly Clarkson, and Beyoncé.
Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the country’s first Hispanic Supreme Court justice, administered the Oath of Office to Vice President Joe Biden. Chief Justice John Roberts swore in President Obama minutes later before the Inaugural address.
Obama’s highly progressive speech reaffirmed his stance on social security, health care, gay rights, and more. It also promised future policy changes to come, particularly where climate change and immigration are concerned, while calling for Americans to stand together and fight for freedom, equality, and democracy.
“We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still,” the President declared. “Just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth.”
The inauguration will be followed by events scheduled for all of today and tomorrow, including the Inaugural Ball and the National Prayer Service.
Transcript of Obama’s Inaugural address: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/01/21/transcript-president-obama-2013-inaugural-address/
For a run-down of all events: http://dc.about.com/od/specialevents/a/Presidential-Inauguration-2013-Washington-Dc.htm