Tom Hanks, Bruce Springsteen, Katy Perry and the President himself; a bunch of stars met Wednesday night in Washington to celebrate the inauguration of Joe Biden, an evening without an audience, broadcast on major American channels and closed with fireworks.
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The program was called “Celebrating America” and replaced the traditional balls and concerts that usually animate the federal capital at each inauguration, canceled this year due to the pandemic.
During these 90 very hushed minutes several singers followed one another on the air, some recorded elsewhere in the United States, but also a delivery driver, a teacher or an 8-year-old volunteer, Cavanaugh Bell.
Because the program was also intended as a “tribute to the men and women of this country who gave it strength and made it run in these difficult times,” explained Oscar-winning comedian Tom Hanks, host of the show.
At the feet of the statue of Abraham Lincoln, in front of the monument dedicated to the former American president in Washington, sang Bruce Springsteen, John Legend or Katy Perry, and the new American president once again addressed the country.
As he had done in his inauguration speech, the head of state called for “unity”, asking the Americans to “come together”.
In pre-recorded footage, the three former US presidents who had attended Joe Biden’s inauguration earlier paid tribute to American democracy.
“As Americans, there are more things that unite us than what separates us,” said Barack Obama, who was with George Bush and Bill Clinton.
“Mr. President, I wish you success,” concluded George Bush. “Your success will be that of our country.”
The songs chosen all carried a positive, forward-looking message, such as “Feeling Good”, made famous by Nina Simone and this time performed by John Legend.
The evening ended with Katy Perry’s “Firework”, which the artist sang as the Washington sky was lit with fireworks.
While most of the major channels broadcast the show, the conservative-prized Fox News was the exception, and kept its programs occupied in this niche by its star presenters, who ridiculed Joe Biden’s message.
“Biden’s solemn calls for unity are both laughable and utterly dishonest,” said Sean Hannity, the country’s most-watched presenter and staunch supporter of Donald Trump. He accused Joe Biden of wanting to impose a far-left agenda and demonize Donald Trump’s voters. “It is bullshit.”