President Barack Obama will hold his ceremonial inaugural activities today, including a swearing-in ceremony on the steps of the U.S. Capitol and an inaugural parade. Obama officially took the oath of office for his second term on Sunday. The U.S. Constitution mandates that the new president be sworn in on Jan. 20.
Live televised coverage of today’s events stretches from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Television networks are also planning specials focusing on the inaugural balls at 10 p.m. The Charlotte Observer will cover the events live online at charlotteobserver.com.
Today’s inaugural activities are an historic milestone in several ways. Chiefly, the events will celebrate the re-election of the nation’s first African-American president. For the LGBT community, the events are also momentous, as openly gay poet Richard Blanco will deliver the inaugural poem and as LGBT-friendly Episcopalian priest, Rev. Luis Leon of St. John’s Church, Washington, D.C., will lead the inaugural ceremony’s benediction.
For the second time, members of the Lesbian and Gay Band Association will also participate in the inaugural parade. Charlottean Don Neihus, a founding member of the Charlotte Pride Band, will participate.
The schedule for today’s events follow:
11:30 a.m.: U.S. Marine Band performs, as well as choirs from P.S. 22 in New York’s Staten Island and Lee University in Cleveland, Tenn.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., makes welcoming remarks.
Invocation by Myrlie Evers-Williams.
Music by Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir.
Oath administered to Vice President Joe Biden by Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
James Taylor performs.
Oath administered to President Barack Obama by Chief Justice John Roberts.
Obama makes inaugural address.
Kelly Clarkson performs.
Poem by Richard Blanco.
Benediction by the Rev. Luis Leon of St. John’s Church, Washington.
Beyonce sings the National Anthem.
2:35 p.m.: The Obamas and Bidens participate in a parade featuring floats and vehicles representing about 60 groups.
6 p.m.: The Commander in Chief’s Inaugural Ball to honor America’s service members and their families, a tradition started by President Bush in 2005.
6:30 p.m.: The Inaugural Ball, a celebration that spans every hall in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.
— Inaugural ceremony provided via The Charlotte Observer. qnotes is a member of the newspaper’s Charlotte News Alliance.