Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts administers the oath of office to President Barack Obama during the official swearing-in ceremony in the Blue Room of the White House on Inauguration Day, Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013. First Lady Michelle Obama, holding the Robinson family Bible, along with daughters Malia and Sasha, stand with the President. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)
By The Associated Press
CHICAGO - Illinois will be well represented during today's Inaugural Parade.
The procession that follows President Obama down Pennsylvania Avenue following his swearing-in ceremony will feature more than 60 groups and eight official inaugural floats. One of those floats will recognize Illinois, as the birthplace of First Lady Michelle Obama.
The float will feature American flags, the state flag and a panorama of the state Capitol.
Hawaii, the state where President Obama was born, also will have an official float.
The parade is scheduled to begin about 1:30 p.m. More than 8,800 people and 200 animals are expected to participate.
Illinois dignitaries in Washington, D.C. for the event include Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Gov. Pat Quinn.
“It’s a proud day for the United States of America and a proud day Illinois. A favorite son of Illinois, President Barack Obama, will be sworn in again as president and he’s an inspiration to all of us,” Quinn said. “To have the president, President Barack Obama, inaugurated on that very day in 2013, 50 years after the 'I Have a Dream' speech, I think is God’s grace."
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) will also be at the inauguration. He said the actions of the president in this second term will mirror what was said on the campaign trail.
“I thought the president was successful in that election campaign not only because of himself and being a good candidate and a great organization, it was an inclusive message,” Durbin said. “It was a message that basically said to the people of America ‘let’s come together; we can solve these problems if we come together.’”
The official theme for the 2013 inauguration is “Faith in America’s Future,” and marks the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and the placement of the Statue of Freedom atop the Capitol Dome in 1863.