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Obama Joins Crowd on Mall for Free Concert

By Debbi Wilgoren
A diverse and excited crowd converged on the Mall this afternoon to watch a star-studded concert that is the official start to the festivities marking the inauguration of Barack Obama as the nation's 44th president.

After cramming onto Metro trains and buses or strolling luxuriously across a bridge from Virginia where vehicular traffic had been banned, tens of thousands of concertgoers stood patiently in long security lines and sat on blankets or leaned against barrier fencing waiting to hear Bruce Springsteen, Queen Latifah, will.i.am and other stars serenade the president-elect, vice president elect and their families from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

Folks came from all over the Washington region and from South Carolina, California and Atlanta; from York, Maine, and Wayland, Mass.; and from a tiny city in Alaska known by the name "North Pole." Although some said they were attending the "We Are One" concert as a less-onerous way to catch their piece of history, many said they planned to bundle up again and join the even-larger throngs expected for Tuesday's swearing-in and inaugural parade.

"A part of history's going on," said Michael Nolan, 50, of Arlington, explaining why he'd be back on Tuesday. "If I don't [go], I won't be able to tell the stories later."

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See also:

  • The PostRock blog is twittering the concert.

  • And radio station WAMU is streaming it live.

  • By Web Politics Editor  |  January 18, 2009; 4:12 PM ET
    Categories:  Inauguration Week  
    Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: President-Elect Obama Calls Capt. Sullenberger
    Next: Obama Delivers Address to Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial

    Comments

    Lightnin',

    Methinks you may just be jealous that Cheney and Rove didn't quite manage to make Bush Jr. President for Life... after all, God made him president, and you know what that means...!

    Posted by: jehovahjones | January 22, 2009 1:52 PM | Report abuse

    Of course, those in the VIP seating section probably got to hear him : )

    On the Money Trail: Inauguration Perks Go To the Rich

    http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/story?id=6680531&page=1

    Posted by: JakeD | January 19, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

    Most of the crowd could not hear Gene Robinson ...

    Posted by: JakeD | January 19, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

    Very impressive. Very moving. Very Real. What a refreshing change from the last eight years. 2 days left before baby-Bush can do use no harm.

    Posted by: thebobbob | January 19, 2009 1:00 AM | Report abuse

    Can we pass a law right now to make Obama President for Life? Can't we get the Pope to make him a saint? Isn't it possible that he is the REAL Messiah? He's bigger than Jesus! Yes, he can!!

    Posted by: lightnin001 | January 19, 2009 12:04 AM | Report abuse

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