Beyonce Sings Stirring National Anthem at Barack Obama Inauguration
The star-studded inauguration ceremony kicked off Obama's second term
After being sworn into office during a private ceremony on Sunday, President Barack Obama publicly began his second term during Monday’s presidential Inauguration on the Capitol Steps.
With the crowd – which was estimated at roughly 800,000 people – chanting “O-ba-ma! O-ba-ma!” the President began his address.
“My fellow Americans, we are made for this moment,” he said, “and we will seize it – so long as we seize it together.”
Beyoncé closed out the 57th inaugural ceremony with an a powerful rendition of the “Star-Spangled Banner” – while wearing a chiffon-and-velvet Emilio Pucci gown with a pair of 80-carat emerald earrings and a 50-carat emerald ring by Lorraine Schwartz.
And Kelly Clarkson performed a stirring “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee” accompanied by the United States Marine Band.
New York Sen. Chuck Schumer kicked off the ceremony with an inspiring speech. “It is a good moment to rejoice today,” he told the crowd. “It is the perfect moment to renew our collective faith in the future of America.”
Myrlie Evers-Williams, an activist who is the widow of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers, then delivered the Invocation. The 79-year-old made history as the first lay person and woman to do so.
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Sonia Sotomayor swore in Vice President Joe Biden – making her the first Hispanic person to administer an inaugural oath of office.
James Taylor – who has performed for the President in the past – performed an acoustic version of “America the Beautiful.”
With Michelle Obama holding the Bible, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts delivered Obama his oath of office, as the 44th President swore to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
Richard Blanco – who at 44-years-old is the youngest Inaugural Poet – recited a poem that invoked images of Americana.