Related News

Home » World

Washington awaits the president

WASHINGTON came alive yesterday with festivity and ceremony to celebrate Barack Obama's coming inauguration tomorrow as 44th president of the United States, a nation weighed down under a crushing recession and two difficult wars.

Obama, Vice President-elect Joe Biden and their families arrived the night before by train from Philadelphia, a symbolic journey recalling that of Abraham Lincoln in equally troubled times in 1861 before the outbreak of the US Civil War.

Yesterday, the president-elect was planning to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery on the Virginia side of the Potomac River. In the afternoon, Obama, his wife and two daughters were to attend a concert on the National Mall, the start to a dizzying four-day round of spectacle and tradition that ends with a prayer service on Wednesday morning.

Yesterday's concert was to feature, among other stars, U2, Beyonce and Bruce Spingsteen. A crowd expected to reach a half-million will also hear dramatic readings from top stars of film, television and the sports world.

Somewhere between 1 million and 2 million people are expected to make their way to Washington for tomorrow's swearing in ceremony and inaugural parade. Some 240,000 tickets have been issued for the festivities at the Capitol.

Although he may not get to bed before 3am, Barack Obama plans to make Wednesday, his first full day as president, a jam-packed affair of prayer, diplomacy, war discussions and welcoming visitors to the White House.

The new president will begin Wednesday at Washington's National Cathedral for the National Prayer Service, which dates back to George Washington. His office said he and his wife Michelle will welcome "hundreds of special guests" on "day one, when we open the doors of the White House to you."

Perhaps most importantly, however, will be Obama's plan to assemble military leaders to take a look at starting the withdrawal of US forces from Iraq,


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend