All posts tagged: Inauguration

Standing on Shoulders While Looking to the Future

Every four years, when the country gathers to inaugurate a president, some of the nation’s most historic buildings take center stage. From the Benjamin Latrobe-designed St. John’s Church where the First Family attends a morning service, to the White House where the President meets with his successor or the leaders of Congress, to the U.S. Capitol where the Chief Executive takes the oath of office under a magnificent dome largely completed during the darkest days of the Civil War—our nation’s peaceful transfer of power occurs in and around stately buildings that are cherished witnesses to history. And the inauguration ceremonies end the following morning at yet another historic building — Washington National Cathedral — where the nation’s secular and religious leaders gather for the Presidential Inaugural Prayer Service. I have attended many different services and ceremonies beneath the Cathedral’s soaring vaults. I remember Evensong services in the great choir where I heard young trebles sing a Pie Jesu that lifted the congregants — all twenty of them — to another level of grace. The sanctuary …

Inaugurations: Here’s to the Optimists

Today is Inauguration Day 2013.  Cue the oh-so-tired Washingtonians. Here are some real quotes from my “Facebook Friends” (before I deleted my account last evening). “OMG, the tourists are clogging up the Metro.” “I’m not going, that’s oh so 2009.” “The return of the economic destroyer in chief” (this obviously from a disgruntled Republican who has rewritten history). “Limousine gridlock.” The newspapers also get into the act. “Experts” who see the world through their lens and no other, have all the answers for what ails President Obama, the political parties, or the country as the second term begins. Well, I refuse to play that Washington game.  I have a son and four of his college classmates down on the mall today, and they are excited to be a part of history. Andrew and another friend from Washington have spent the last four days touring one friend from California and one from Vermont all around the city – hitting the hip neighborhoods, going to Evensong at the National Cathedral, watching the changing of the guard at …

More on the Inauguration

In searching the Internet this morning, I found a post on the Daily Kos’ Street Prophets section on faith that discussed the difference between the prayers of Rick Warren and Joseph Lowery at Tuesday’s inauguration ceremony.  I recommend the entire post, but I loved the ending enough to add it here.  Pastor Dan writes, As a Facebook friend says, “Rev. Lowrey is to Rick Warren as Mavis Staples is to Britney Spears.” Yep, pretty much. That’s a great line…and very true.  If you don’t know Mavis Staples, listen to the following video.  And the images are a poignant reminder of why so many people were quoted yesterday as saying, “I never thought I’d see this in my lifetime.”  More to come… DJB

Views of the Inauguration

January 20, 2009 was a great day to be an American.  It was also a wonderful day to be in Washington.  And although I’m writing this from Santa Monica, California – I didn’t leave Washington until we had a new president. Claire was on the mall with friends and she took several pictures of the inauguration – including the one at the top of the post.  She reports that it was very festive, and this picture captures that spirit. Because I had to fly to California later in the day, and Candice was coming back from a long weekend in Florida, Andrew and I opted to go to Politics and Prose – the wonderfully independent and progressive neighborhood bookstore – to watch the inauguration with like-minded friends and patrons.  It was great.  The staff provided free popcorn, the coffee shop was hopping turning out the hot chocolate and lattes, and everyone was in a very good mood.  Andrew had on his Obama ’08 cap and we enjoyed the view and the company.  There were three different …

Inauguration Planning – Sites to See Off the Mall

Well, our little place on earth is getting pretty excited about the next ten days.  Washington is making plans to keep Virginians from coming into the city.  (I would have thought they’d be treated better since they actually voted for Obama, going blue for the first time since Jamestown was founded, or so it seems.)   While Candice and I will be passing each other in the airport on the way to and from town, the children are busy making their plans.  Claire has a good friend on Capitol Hill, so she’s already set for a sleepover and a morning hike to the mall.   Andrew is vacillating between hiking to the mall with friends and watching it all in the comfort of the restored AFI Theatre on the big screen.   I just hope I can see the actual ceremony before I have to head out of town. But for those looking for something to do in Washington during the inaugural week, my organization, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, has put together a great list of …