11:50 a.m. Dianne Feinstein has probably never had a reception like this in her life. She welcomes the crowd as we “etch another line in the solid stone of history.” Praises the “Non-violent struggles for justice and equality like the one” that led to this “sweet history of this hour” and “turning point for our nation.”
11:52 a.m. Rick Warren leads prayer in a big-room voice. Tells God “it all exists for your glory; history is your story.” Also, He is “loving to everyone.” “We celebrate a hinge-point of history with the Inauguration of our first African-American President of the United States” and “the son of an African immigrant.” Mentions Dr. King “and a great cloud of witnesses… shouting in heaven.” Asks God to grant Obama several good qualities, and to “help us remember that we are Americans.” Also asks for forgiveness, and says “all nations will stand accountable before You.” Takes special relish in the names of Sasha and Malia. Gives a dramatic reading of the Lord’s Prayer.
11:57 a.m. Aretha Franklin kills with “My Country ‘Tis of Thee.”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 20, 2009