The Kids' Inaugural Concert celebrated the country's military families with a star-studded performance of song, dance and recorded messages from some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry.
Katy Perry, Usher and the cast from "Glee" were just some of the highlights of the Kids' Inaugural Concert Saturday honoring the nation's troops and veterans.
Other performers included the Far East Movement, Nick Cannon, DJ D-Nice, Black Violin, iLuminate and Mindless Behavior. Beyoncé, Kelly Clarkson and James Taylor are scheduled to sing at President Barack Obama's official inauguration Monday.
The concert started right after the arrival of its official hosts Michelle Obama and Jill Biden at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington. The first lady and the vice president's wife took the stage with their children and grandchildren amid applause from the crowd. A group of children from Naval Air Station Sigonella, Sicily, led the Pledge of Allegiance.
AP Photo: Gerald Herbert. Inaugural Kids' Concert: Usher performs during the "Kids' Inaugural: Our Children. Our Future" event in Washington Saturday. IMAGE
The concert celebrated the country's military families with a star-studded performance of song, dance and recorded messages from some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry.
"The first lady and I are so excited to be here with all these military kids," Jill Biden said, right before introducing Michelle Obama, whom she called "her partner." Biden shared with the crowd the experience of the time her son Beau was deployed to Iraq for a year. The audience included military children and families from Fort Hood, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and USCG Air Station Clearwater, Fla.
The theme of the night was "Joining forces," in a nod to the organization of the same name started by Michelle Obama and Jill Biden to provide assistance to military families. Joining Forces provides education, training and employment resources for military families.
The first lady said that although the inauguration was a "pretty big deal," her favorite part of the entire weekend was "being right here with all of you.
"When I think about what makes America great, I think about you, our men and women in uniform, our military spouses and our military kids," she said.
"Usher wanted to be here, Katy Perry wanted to be here, the folks from "Glee" wanted to be here — they are not here for me, they are here for you because they know the kind of sacrifices you make every day," Obama added.
Obama went on to talk about the kind of challenges a military kid faces. As a military kid, "you have to grow up a little faster," she said. "Make no mistake about it, you are an important part of the greatest military on earth."
The first lady promised that as the U.S. ends its wars in the coming years, Joining Forces would continue to support the nation's troops.
"In the end I know that if we all join forces we can serve our military families just as they serve us," she said.
AP Photo: Gerald Herbert. Kids' Inaugural Concert: Katy Perry performs during the Kids' Inaugural: Our Children. Our Future." event in Washington, Saturday. IMAGE
The concert was kicked off by Usher who thanked the first lady and Jill Biden for making the event possible. He started with his hit song "Yeah," and then went on to sing "Without You" and a couple of his other hits. Midway through his performance, Usher thanked the nation's servicemen. He also reminded the audience of the importance of education.
Katy Perry, the final performer of the evening, supported Obama's re-election campaign.
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