Being There (Part II)
I didn’t attend just the inauguration this past weekend. Since the four days were jam-packed full of all sorts of goodies, I decided to partake in as much as the cold would allow me, which is how I found myself at the Lincoln Memorial on Sunday afternoon. I have never seen such a star-studded event. In fact, I have never seen such a star-studded few days. If you were watching during the inauguration, you may have noticed that Jay-Z, Puffy and Magic Johnson were all up in the stage. And of course, Oprah. But this did not even begin to compare to the concert. Shakira and Usher singing with Stevie Wonder. Tom Hanks’ salute to the Great Emancipator. Jon Bon Jovi dueting on “A Change Gonna’ Come.” Jamie Foxx’s Obama impression. Denzel! Tiger! The Boss! The list goes on and on. All we needed was Jack Nicholson and it could have been court side at a Lakers game.
However, there was also something a little weird about the concert. Each performer acknowledged the crowd as they finished their piece but then each one of them also gave a little bow towards the man who had brought them there. The President elect gave only a short speech and he wasn’t even the one who ended the program (that honor went to the lovely Beyonce). But I couldn’t shake the sense that this felt more like a coronation than a concert. Now, I in no way want to imply that the event was intended as such nor do I think that our new President would think so of himself. It just felt kind of strange.
But if you really want to talk about strange, let me tell you about the locked-down state of the nation’s capitol. Almost every street corner had either police or National Guardsmen standing around. I’m not sure exactly what their function was and to be honest, it didn’t really bother me that much. But, it’s just a little disconcerting when in every place you walk in the town where you live, there are camouflaged men and women standing around.
All in all, though, it was a weekend to remember. It definitely had its highs and lows and I really wish that the 70 degree weather we enjoyed just a few weeks ago would have held off for this weekend instead. But, despite some miscues during the oath, power peacefully transitioned and the United States showed once again why “We will not apologize for our way of life, nor will we waver in its defense.”
So, that brings our RSBS salute to the inauguration to a close. And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go continue my attempts at thawing out.