President Obama’s 2013 Inauguration

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Paris Morgan, Staff Writer

          An estimated 800,000 people gathered on Capitol Hill on Monday, January 21, 2013 to witness the second inauguration of President Barack Obama. President Obama’s second inauguration came 4 years and one day from when he first took the office. The week of festivities included: the Presidential Swearing-In Ceremony, Inaugural Address, Inaugural Parade and numerous inaugural balls and galas.

            The 20th amendment states that the President must take the oath of office on January 20th of that year. Since January 20th fell on a Sunday in 2013, a private ceremony of swearing in was held on that date, and a public ceremony and parade was held on the following day. This 21st day of January was also very important to many across the nation because it is the day that we remember the late, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The official theme for the 2013 inauguration was “Faith in America’s Future”, commemorating the United States’ perseverance and unity, marking the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and the placement of the Statue of Freedom atop the Capitol Dome in 1863.

            The Obamas woke up on the morning of Monday, January 21, 2013 with many plans for the day ahead of them. Around 8:30 in the morning, the first family arrived to St. John Episcopal Church for an inaugural service. Every president since James Madison has worshipped there. The time came at 10:45 am for everyone to begin making their way to the Capitol. President Obama traveled with Senator Charles Schumer while Vice President Joe Biden traveled with Senator Lamar Alexander. Charles Schumer, a democratic senator of New York, is also chairman of the inaugural committee. Senator Schumer opened the inaugural ceremony. Next on the agenda was the inaugural prayer. This inaugural prayer was given by Myrlie Evers-Williams, the wife of a slain civil rights leader. This prayer touched many hearts across the nation.

            At 11:45, Joe Biden was ready to take the Oath of Office. He was sworn in by Supreme Court Justice, Sonia Sotomayor. Afterward, singer-songwriter, John Taylor, sang “America the Beautiful”. In 2011, President Obama awarded Taylor the National Medal of Arts at the White House. The moment that many were waiting for arrived at 11:50 am. At this time, President Obama was sworn into office for his second term by Chief Justice of the United States, John Roberts. The inaugural address began right after the President was sworn in. President Obama called for “collective action” on the nation’s challenges.

            The Inaugural Ceremony came to an end at 12:30 pm. Upon leaving the inaugural platform, President Obama turned around to look at the crowd one more time and said, “I’m not going to see this ever again.”          

            Another major festivity that went on was the Presidential Inaugural Parade. The Inaugural Parade featured eight official inaugural floats and sixty groups—including marching bands, mounted units, cultural organizations, and members from all branches of the Armed Forces of the United States. During the 10-day inaugural period from January 15 to January 24, 2013, armed forces personnel provided ceremonial support with musical units, marching bands, color guards, salute batteries and honor cordons. More than 8,800 people and close to 200 animals participated in the parade down Pennsylvania Avenue.