Received from the President Inauguration Committee (PIC):

The Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) will host a welcome event to kick off the 56th Presidential Inauguration at the Lincoln Memorial on Sunday, January 18th.   The PIC also plans to hold a youth concert on the evening of Monday, January 19th, at the Verizon Center in downtown Washington.  Sunday’s welcome event and Monday’s concert will continue President-elect Obama and Vice President-elect Biden’s commitment to hold an Inauguration that is open, accessible and reflects a spirit of unity for Americans of all ages.

The afternoon welcome event, to be held on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial at the west end of the National Mall, will be free and open to the public.  Dedicated to the memory of America’s 16th President, the Lincoln Memorial has been the site of many Presidential Inauguration activities in recent years.  President Clinton held a free concert on the grounds in 1993 that included performances by Aretha Franklin, Tony Bennett, and Bob Dylan. In 2001, President-elect Bush kicked off his inaugural festivities at the site with performances by Ricky Martin, Charlotte Church, and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

The PIC is also pleased to announce that a concert for America’s children will be held the night before the Inauguration, Monday, January 19th.   The concert will be free, but tickets will be required.  Further details of the welcome event, concert and other inaugural activities will be made available in the coming weeks.

Also here’s the planned schedule in case you haven’t seen it for the Inaugural Ceremony (my reactions are in italics):

Musical Selections
The United States Marine Band

Musical Selections
The San Francisco Boys Chorus and the San Francisco Girls Chorus

Call to Order and Welcoming Remarks
The Honorable Dianne Feinstein

Invocation
Dr. Rick Warren, Saddleback Church, Lake Forest, CA [Jill: Boo...hiss...claws scratching at the air - this was a major misstep IMHO. I salute the instinct to unify the nation symbolically. But this guy is on the wrong side of some basic human rights issues. I bow to Pam Spaulding's scathing breakdown of why this is so very wrong.]

Musical Selection
Aretha Franklin [Jill: All Hail the Queen of Soul, y'all. Hopefully she, Beyonce and Tina Turner can avoid getting into another spat at the inauguration over who is known as the "Queen" as they did earlier this year at the Grammys.]

Oath of Office Administered to Vice President-elect Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
By Associate Justice of the Supreme Court
The Honorable John Paul Stevens [Jill: He's Cool]

Musical Selection, John Williams, composer/arranger
Itzhak Perlman, Violin
Yo-Yo Ma, Cello
Gabriela Montero, Piano
Anthony McGill, Clarinet

[Jill: I'm a big fan of all of these artists. It's so multiculti too. Anthony McGill is a super-fine hottie brother, too. Here's more about him. I'm looking forward to this. Hope it's on iTunes afterwards.]
Oath of Office Administered to President-elect Barack H. Obama
By the Chief Justice of the United States
The Honorable John G. Roberts, Jr. [Jill: Boo!]

Inaugural Address
The President of the United States, The Honorable Barack H. Obama [Ultra Super Double Extreme YAY!!!]

Poem
Elizabeth Alexander [Excellent choice. She was a finalist for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize. She'll be composing an original poem. Learn more about her and her poetry]

Benediction
The Reverend Dr. Joseph E. Lowery [This is the man who should be giving the invocation, not Warren. It is his courage, values and example that should precede Obama's swearing in, not Warren's. He's most recently known for bravely castigating Bush's policies at Coretta Scott King's funeral two years ago in front of 4 U.S. presidents, including Bush himself. Here's a quote: "We know now there were no weapons of mass destruction over there. But Coretta knew and we know that there are weapons of misdirection right down here. Millions without health insurance. Poverty abounds. For war billions more but no more for the poor!"]

The National Anthem
The United States Navy Band “Sea Chanters”

What do you think of this program?

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