“Celebrating America”, a 90-minute special that aired across several networks Wednesday night, brought together a mix of A-list talent, sincere stories and somber moments of remembrance was a hit.
Filled with stories of “everyday heroes,” Celebrating America traded the usual inauguration night balls for socially distanced performances from around the country, while Biden and Harris both spoke just once, host Tom Hanks held the night together from outside the Lincoln Memorial.
In line with Biden’s rhetoric about the pandemic, many of the featured songs emphasized the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel.
“It’s times like these you learn to love again,” Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl sang, later adding: “I’m a new day rising.” Broadway stars joined via videoconferencing for a performance of “Let the Sunshine In” from the musical “Hair.”
Obama, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush appeared in a recorded video to extol the virtues of American democracy and the peaceful transition of presidential power.
“The fact that the three of us are standing here talking about a peaceful transfer of power speaks to the institutional integrity of our country,” Bush said.