Inaugural Welcome Event at the Lincoln Memorial

WASHINGTON (RushPRnews) 01/18/09–This afternoon, Amy Hamblin and Sam Teller will be liveblogging from the Lincoln Memorial, where President-elect Obama will join an incredible lineup of entertainers to kick off the Inaugural celebration. Keep checking back here for updates and be sure to watch this exciting event live on HBO (it’s free for non-subscribers) at 2:30 p.m. ET or on HBO.com. We’ll keep adding photos to this slideshow throughout. (Did you miss the live show? Watch the rebroadcasts on HBO at 7pm ET, 11pm ET, and 2:30am ET or check out HBO.com.)

1:59pm, Sam: Welcome to our liveblog of the We Are One event at the Lincoln Memorial. Jon Bon Jovi, Bettye LaVette, and Pete Seeger added to musical lineup.  Jack Black, Steve Carell, Rosario Dawson, Tom Hanks, Samuel L. Jackson, Ashley Judd, Laura Linney, George Lopez, Kal Penn, Marisa Tomei, Forest Whitaker, and Tiger Woods have been added to the lineup of readers.  These new additions will join Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Bono, Garth Brooks, Sheryl Crow, Renee Fleming, Josh Groban, Herbie Hancock, Heather Headley, John Legend, Jennifer Nettles, John Mellencamp, Usher Raymond IV, Shakira, Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor, will.i.am, and Stevie Wonder.  Shaping up to be an incredible show.

2:10pm, Amy: The crowd is building. Take a look at the photos of people filling the Mall.

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2:26pm, Sam: The photos you’ll see here are taken by Kevin Mazur, courtesy of HBO and provided by image.net.

2:40pm, Amy: The National Anthem just echoed across the Mall, followed by a rousing introduction from Denzel Washington. Bruce Springsteen is strumming along with a gospel choir to his song, “The RIsing.“

2:46pm, Sam: Springsteen just finished, with thousands people in the crowd singing along.  Are you watching the live show on HBO?  Check it out! Laura Linney and Martin Luther King III are speaking now.

2:50pm, Sam: Mary J. Blige, dressed in all white, is now playing a great cover of “Lean on Me.“

2:53pm, Sam: Steve Carell and Jamie Foxx just took the stage to speak. Foxx quotes Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall’s call to action: “This is your democracy.“  Carell quotes Robert F. Kennedy.  Foxx gives a shout out to “Chi-town 312,“ citing President-elect Obama’s inspiring speech on Election Night at Grant Park: “Change has come to America.“

2:57pm, Amy: Jon Bon Jovi and Bettye LaVette are crooning soulfully, “It’s been a long time coming, but change has come.“

3:01pm, Amy: Tom Hanks is echoing the words of Lincoln, “We hold the power and bear the responsibility.“

3:05pm, Sam: Hanks finishing up, with soaring music from the band. Marisa Tomei is now taking the stage: “Americans are family. We are bound to one another through an idea and an ideal.“

3:08pm, Sam: James Taylor is playing his hit “Shower the People.“  John Legend just joined him on stage to sing a verse.  Crowd swaying to the music (and to keep warm!).

3:12pm, Amy: Vice President-elect is walking out onto stage right now to a cheering crowd.

3:15pm, Amy: Vice President-elect just finished praising our incredible American workers: “I came to believe in the very core of my being that work is more than a paycehck. It’s about dignity, it’s about respect.“

3:18pm, Sam: John Mellencamp is now rocking out on stage, with a beautiful backdrop of American flags (and the Lincoln Memorial).
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3:19pm, Sam: President-elect Obama, Vice President-elect Biden and their families are taking in the performances from a seated viewing area on the left side of the stage. Tune in to HBO or watch the live webcast on HBO.com to catch all the action.

3:22pm, Sam: Queen Latifah just spoke briefly.

3:23pm, Amy: Josh Groban is singing “Of Thee, I Sing,“ with lyrics, “Let freedom ring.“

3:26pm, Sam: Actors Kal Penn and George Lopez are speaking to the crowd now.  Penn: “America’s greatness comes from being made up of so many different strands.“

3:28pm, Sam: Herbie Hancock is jamming to Bob Marley’s “One Love,“ with Sheryl Crow and will.i.am singing along.

3:32pm, Sam: Tiger Woods is delivering remarks. He is speaking about his father and paying tribute to our military personnel, “the unsung heroes.“  He says, “We must always stand by and support our men and women in uniform.“

3:35pm, Amy: The U.S. Naval Academy Glee Club has filed onto stage, carrying flags and delivering a soaring musical number.

3:39pm, Amy: Jack Black and Rosario Dawson just recalled the lasting legacy of President Teddy Roosevelt with our National Parks. Now Garth Brooks is rocking out to “American Pie.“

3:42pm, Amy: Garth Brooks has just transitioned from “American Pie” into “Shout,“ riling up the crowd and getting everyone to sing along.

3:43pm, Sam: Everyone on the Mall is jumping and singing along to “Shout.“

3:45pm, Sam: Travelers flying into Ronald Reagan airport in Washington, DC today should look out the plane’s left window for a great view of the event.  Garth Brooks, in his trademark cowboy hat, is now performing “We Shall Be Free.“

3:47pm, Sam: As Brooks finished, he doffed his hat and bowed to the President-elect.  Forest Whitaker and Ashley Judd are up next.

3:50pm: Amy: Wearing shades and spinning around stage, Usher is igniting the crowd with his version of “Higher Ground.“ He’s getting the crowd to clap along with him while he grooves onstage with Stevie Wonder.

3:55pm: Amy: Samuel L. Jackson is taking the stage.

3:56pm: Amy: Jackson is quoting the words of some of the great leaders in the Civil Rights Movement, including Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr. Speaking of King: “His sacrifice made it possible for me to be here today. His dream is being realized by all of us being here today.“

3:59pm, Amy: Bono is belting the lyrics to his song, “Pride,“ about Martin Luther King, Jr. Lyrics: “In the name of love, what more in the name of love.“

4:03pm, Amy: Bono is electrifying the crowd with his second song, “City of Blinding Lights.“

4:08pm, Sam: Challenger, an eagle from the American Eagle Foundation, is at center stage flapping his wings majestically.  A representative from each branch of the military stands watch.

4:10pm, Sam: President-elect Obama takes the stage.  “Hello America.“
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4:13pm, Amy: President-elect: “Despite the enormity of the tasks that lie ahead, I stand here as hopeful as ever.“

4:15pm, Sam: The President-elect credits Martin Luther King, Jr. and Abraham Lincoln with paving the road for us to reach this point in American history.  Watch now on HBO.com.

4:16pm, Amy: “There’s nobody that can stand in the way of millions of voices calling for change.“

4:17pm, Amy: The President-elect concludes his speech.  The sea of people in multicolored hats across the Mall claps enthusiastically.

4:18pm, Sam: Pete Seeger, Bruce Springsteen and a large group on stage are singing “This Land is Our Land.“  The crowd across the Mall joining in too.

4:23pm, Amy: Beyonce singing “America, The Beautiful.“ Military men and women are holding flags from all 50 states between the pillars of the Lincoln Memorial.

4:26pm, Sam: President-elect Obama and his family just exited the stage.  The hundreds of thousands of people on the Mall are slowly leaving.

4:32pm, Sam: Did you miss the live show?  Watch the rebroadcasts on HBO at 7pm ET, 11pm ET, and 2:30am ET or check out HBO.com.

4:39pm, Sam: Lots of energetic singing and cheering from the crowd as they make their way out.

4:44pm, Sam: Thanks for checking out our liveblog of We Are One: The Inaugural Welcome Celebration. Be sure to watch our live webcast of the swearing-in on Tuesday and visit our site later that night as we liveblog the Neighborhood Inaugural Ball. In the meantime, visit USAservice.org to get involved in local service event tomorrow, in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Photo credit: Bruce Springsteen and Martin Luther King Jr. III at “We are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration At The Lincoln Memorial” presented exclusively by HBO on Sunday January 18th 2009. Kevin Mazur/Courtesy of HBO via image.net