>WASHINGTON, DC—In keeping with its pledge to make the inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama one of the most open and accessible in history, the Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) announced today that, for the first time, the entire length of the National Mall will be opened to the public so that more people than ever before will be able to witness the swearing-in of the President from a vantage point in sight of the Capitol.
The PIC has worked closely with officials from the District of Columbia government, the National Park Service, the Armed Forces Inaugural Committee (AFIC), and the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies (JCCIC) to make space at this historic location available to members of the public who are unable to obtain tickets to the swearing-in. Those who come to witness the swearing-in on the Mall will be able to watch and listen to the ceremony on large screens that will be provided by the PIC along the Mall.
“We’re grateful to local, federal, and military officials for their efforts to open up the National Mall to Americans who want to participate in this historic occasion,“ said PIC Executive Director Emmett S. Beliveau. “These arrangements represent our committee’s continuing commitment to make next year’s historic inauguration as accessible as possible to citizens in Washington, D.C., and across the country.“
“This will be an Inauguration for all Americans,“ said Washington, D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty. “And so we are dedicated to opening it up so that people from across the country can gather together in America’s front yard. We remain hard at work to ensure the day’s festivities are safe and accessible for visitors, residents, and businesses alike.“
In the past, the National Mall has been used as a staging area for participants in the inaugural parade. But in response to early indications that more Americans than usual may travel to Washington to join in celebration of our shared values and common purpose, officials have worked tirelessly in recent weeks to relocate the parade staging area. Inaugural parade participants will be announced next week.
In the coming days and weeks, the PIC will release further information about viewing the inauguration from the National Mall and other inaugural events. For updates, please visit www.pic2009.org.