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It Will Be an Incredible Day

Driving around the National Mall on Saturday, I could feel the excitement. At first glance the theme has to be porta-potties, thousands of them, over 4,000 to be more exact, lining the National Mall from the Capitol area all the way to the Lincoln Memorial; including side streets and along the Pennsylvania Avenue parade route. Where do they all come from? Are all 50 states represented?

Tuesday's inauguration of Barack Obama will be a defining moment in our history. A stark example of this was portrayed by historian Jesse J. Holland, in a segment on the News Hour this past Friday. He discussed the building of the Capitol and the fact that the majority of the laborers were African-American slaves. The grounds in front of the podium where Mr. Obama will deliver his address, where thousands of chairs are now set up, was once a tent city, where these workers and skilled craftsmen lived during the construction.

Whatever your political persuasion, Tuesday's inauguration of the first African-American President of the United States will be a defining moment, full of celebration and many tears. Washington has never felt so full of positive excitement. Good luck, Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden, and to us!

For more coverage of the Inauguration from the Washington, D.C., angle, we direct you to DCist. Since there is not really much to cover in terms of classical music and the arts, Ionarts will be staying out of it. -- Ed.


roberta said...

I wish I could be there. I'll be home by the tv with my tissue box cheering and crying. Such a great day!

Mark Barry said...

I kknnnoooww! The energy around the mall was palpable. Sandra was on a plane from Charlotte on Sunday. A whole family on board. They had bought tickets so the grandmother could see the first African-American become president. It was her Christmas present.
Multiply that story a few thousand times-I love it!

libby said...

Will you be there??? I'm just bubbling over, myself--and so will my eyes be, I bet, between my case of the sniffles and my emotions. That story of the grandmother's Xmas present made my day!!!

Mark Barry said...

It was a weeper for sure. I am open to going, with the right push and a plan, all about the plan.

Anonymous said...

They had Yo-Yo Ma, Itzakh Perlman, Gabriela Montero, and Anthony McGill up there for a few minutes- no comment on that? That's the most classical(ish) music most Americans are going to hear not used in soundtrack form for at least four years.

Charles T. Downey said...

not used in soundtrack form

I know what you are saying, but are you sure about that, Andrew? I love Gabriela Montero and like the other three performers just fine, but that treacly Americana they played was sadly derivative to my ears, indeed very much like a soundtrack. Something with more bite would have been appreciated.

This is after they used Renée Fleming to sing a Broadway tune at the Lincoln Memorial concert. I've been watching, but by my count there is still nothing to report in terms of classical music or the arts.

Mark Barry said...

They had Yo-Yo Ma, Itzakh Perlman, Gabriela Montero, and Anthony McGill up there for a few minutes

It was indeed short but very sweet, a difficult venue at best. Aretha was weak.

I think we may well see some movement quickly with possibly a cabinet position for the arts.

A tough time financially but this may be the guy to appreciate the "value" of the arts related to the economy. It is ultimately up to us to push.

Anonymous said...

I agree that the JW piece wasn't good, at all, but it was significant in terms of when and where it happened. But part of the fun of a blog is that you can ignore it if you want. Just a little surprised that you hadn't even mentioned it.