The nation came together this weekend to witness President Obama's second inauguration, and we were on the ground in DC covering all the festive fun. We kicked things off on Saturday, attending a National Day of Service event at the National Mall. All across the country, Americans were encouraged to chip in some time for community service to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and at my event, celebrity volunteers like Eva Longoria, Ben Folds, and Miss America donated their time alongside hundreds of other everyday citizens who wrote letters to sick kids or military service members overseas. There was also a service fair that provided an opportunity to learn about future opportunities to get involved.
Later Saturday night, we headed to the Kids' Inaugural Concert, an event put on by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden to honor military families. Seasoned pop star Usher kicked off the show, and he didn't hold back his enthusiasm for Obama, changing the words to "OMG" to "O-ba-ma." Jill took the stage to share her experience as a military mom, since her son serves in Delaware's National Guard, and to introduce Michelle, who said giving back to military families was her favorite part of the inauguration. Katy Perry closed the show singing "Fireworks" and dressed like a patriotic firecracker!
On Sunday night, Michelle and Barack Obama spoke at the inaugural reception, and we were there on Monday when President Obama was sworn in publicly for his second term. But he and Joe Biden got a jump start on things. The Constitution dictates that the swearing-in happens on Jan. 20, so the two had private swearing-in ceremonies on Sunday. The official event was moved to Jan. 21, however, in observance of Sunday's religious significance.
Monday's inaugural celebrations began with the swearing-in ceremony, which included performances by Kelly Clarkson and Beyoncé. Then the president and first lady attended a luncheon, where Barack honored Michelle by saying, "There is controversy about the quality of our president; there is no controversy about the quality of our current first lady." Then the Obama family let loose while watching the inaugural parade ahead of the night's two inaugural balls, where Michelle stunned in a red Jason Wu gown. And finally, the first couple attended a prayer service Tuesday morning, an inaugural tradition that dates back to George Washington. See all the inauguration highlights now!