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Cold doesn’t discourage concert crowd

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Adrienne Reaves-Taylor


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Not even the frigid temperatures could chill the spirit of people gathered for Sunday’s pre-inaugural concert in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. The massive crowds stood shoulder-to-shoulder from the memorial to the Washington Monument. Many had waited hours for the start of the concert, which was at the same site that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I have dream” speech in 1963.

The crowd was varied, ranging in age from young children to the elderly. Every race, religion and social-economic group appeared to be represented.

In the crowd was 6-year-old Jonathan Smith from Burke. He performed what he called his “Obama Dance” to keep warm while onlookers cheered.

Another face in the crowed was Joe Tirella, a federal government employee, who had walked 5.5 miles to the concert from his home in Old Town Alexandria.  “It took an hour and 45 minutes, but it would have taken longer if I had tried to take public transportation,” he said.

He had been outside on the Mall for three hours before the start of the concert and almost left because of the cold temperatures. But he chose to stay, saying that he couldn’t allow such a historic event to occur this close to him and not be a part of it. 

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