Saturday, January 19, 2013

First Lady Michelle Obama Honors Military Families At Kids' Inaugural Concert

Katy Perry headlines star-studded concert; First Lady pledges to continue to fight for military family initiatives...
First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden hosted the hottest ticket in town on Saturday night for the 57th Presidential Inaugural, welcoming hundreds of military kids and their parents to the Kid's Inaugural: Our Children Our Future concert at the Washington Convention Center.  Designed to continue the work of the Joining Forces campaign to support and honor service members and their families, the event was jam-packed with celebrity crooners, including headliner Katy Perry, Usher, Far East Movement and Mindless Behavior. (Above, the First Lady and First Daughters greet the crowd)

Clad in a dramatic white peplum top with a gold belt over black slacks, Mrs. Obama vowed ongoing support for military families as she took the stage toward the end of the two-hour show, and addressed the kids directly, leaving First Daughters Malia and Sasha in the front row with friends and First Grandmother Marian Robinson

"Now, inauguration is a pretty big deal," Mrs. Obama told the cheering kids, "But my very favorite part of this entire weekend is being right here with all of you."

"By supporting your family you all are helping to protect this country and keep every single one of us safe.  Dr. Biden and I are so incredibly proud of you all.   The Vice President is proud...the President...they are proud of you."

The First Daughters were literally dancing in their seats, as were the other excited kids, as DJ Nice spun tunes between performances.  Children at military bases across the US from Hawaii to Florida participated via livestream, and their images flashed on jumbo screens behind Mrs. Obama as she spoke.  America's Got Talent host Nick Cannon emceed the event with an assist from war hero and Dancing With the Stars champion J.R. Martinez.

The First Lady pledged that the work of Joining Forces will continue even when President Obama's planned draw-down of troops from Afghanistan is complete.

"We will not be drawing down our work to support you," Mrs. Obama said. "The fact is we have a greater obligation to serve you than ever before and we will do everything in our power to meet the obligation, to make sure our military families get the benefits they've earned and the recognition you all deserve."

"We will keep calling on Americans to translate the love and pride we all feel into action that makes a real difference," Mrs. Obama promised, to cheers.

Darren Criss, Naya Rivera and Amber Riley of Glee also performed, as did Soul Children of Chicago, joined by classical musicians Black Violin.  Mrs. Obama jumped to her feet to applaud as the group from her hometown finished their number (above).

Other celebrities offered the families supportive messages via video, including some that welcomed Mrs. Obama to their talk shows during President Obama's reelection campaign: Ellen DeGeneres, Jimmy Fallon, and David Letterman.  Ryan Seacrest, Scandal  and Django Unchained star Kerry Washington, boy band Big Time Rush and other other childrens' entertainers also sent messages.  

The First Lady introduced Perry after she spoke: "It is now my pleasure to introduce the fabulous Katy Perry!" she said, and the singer took the stage, clad in a bustier and tap pants, with stars and stripes.  The songstress, who crooned at numerous rallies for President Obama, performed three of her hits, including "Teenage Dream" and "Wide Open," twirling around the stage with her backup dancers.  Most of the crowd was on its feet.

"I'm very proud to be here...and to see the Obamas and the Bidens here for four more years," Perry said during a break between songs.

Earlier on Saturday, Mrs. Obama and the girls joined President Obama for a community service project for the National Day of Service.  Working together, the President and Mrs. Obama stained a bookcase at Burrville Elementary School in Washington, DC.

On Sunday, President Obama will lay a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery before he is sworn in for his second term at a small White House ceremony.  In the evening, the President and Mrs. Obama will attend an inaugural reception at the National Building Museum.


The menu and recipes for the President's Inaugural Luncheon ARE HERE

*Photos by T'Kiyah Lewis/Obama Foodorama