President Barack Obama took the oath of office Monday, placing his hand on two Bibles. One belonged to Abraham Lincoln, the other to Rev. Martin Luther King. But the ceremony was largely symbolic; the president was officially sworn in Sunday. Obama called for greater equal rights for women, and the gay and lesbian community.
"It is now our generation's task to carry on what those pioneers began," the president said.
He called for more common ground in Washington to deal with the deficit, while preserving programs for low-income Americans.
Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, said, "It was moving especially to see the vast tapestry of so many people drawn together in common purpose on the Mall." Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, said, "Our first African-American president invoked our country's long history of advancing civil rights."
Another Vermonter was there-- Colonel Michael Colburn of Franklin County. He's the conductor of "The President's Own" U.S. Marine Band which headlined the event, with superstars Kelly Clarkson and Beyonce, who sang at the ceremony.
Colburn grew up in St. Albans and graduated from Bellows Free Academy. He joined the Marine Band in 1987. He became director in 2004.
The president also spoke about taxes, gun control and immigration.
While the crowd stretched from the Capitol Steps to the Washington Monument, it was estimated at about half as large as the 1.8 million people who attended his inauguration four years ago.
Wednesday, June 19 2013 4:36 PM EDT2013-06-19 20:36:22 GMT
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