Mon, 19 Jan 2009 02:23:30 +0000 – By Jane HallFOX News Contributor
We joined a festive crowd of tens of thousands of people who poured into the Lincoln Memorial concert to celebrate Obama's inauguration on Sunday afternoon. We were routed to watch on a Jumbo-tron in the shadow of the Washington Monument, catching a glimpse of the big screen between bobbing heads, cameras held aloft and children on parents' shoulders in a crowd that was friendly, orderly and singing along.
In a time of economic crisis, wars and challenges to the U.S. and in the world, it was inspiring--and comforting--to hear the words of other presidents and other times, with Denzel Washington, Tom Hanks, Queen Latifah and other actors quoting from FDR, JFK and Lincoln.
It was on these steps, the crowd was reminded, that Marian Anderson, prohibited from singing before the Daughters of the American Revolution, sang "My Country 'Tis of Thee" at the Lincoln Memorial in 1939.
"Thank you, America," Obama said to the crowd. "What gives me the greatest hope of all is not the stone and marble that surrounds us today, but what fills the space in between. It is you, Americans of every race and region and station who came here because you believe in what this country can be and because you want to help us get there." It was a rock concert that was also a prayer service, if words and music and hopes can be prayers, prayers from many for the hopes of this nation as a new president takes office.