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Special Event

Inaugural Opening Ceremonies Get Under Way

Aired January 18, 2001 - 4:26 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN ANCHOR: Well, we're going to go back to Washington, D.C., where Jeanne Meserve is standing by, not only following the confirmation hearings, but also the preinaugural activities taking place there -- Jeanne.

JEANNE MESERVE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Kyra, that's right.

The inauguration is still two days away, but the Republican partying has already begun today down on the National Mall: an inauguration gala taking place, featuring the likes of Ricky Martin, the pop sensation. Right now, the Navy band is playing. Let's listen in for a moment.

(MUSIC)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ladies and gentlemen, the president-elect of the United States and Mrs. Bush, accompanied by the vice president- elect and Mrs. Cheney!

(CHEERING)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Ladies and gentlemen, please remain standing as international singing star Sandy Patti performs our national anthem.

SANDY PATTI, SINGER (singer): Oh, say can you see, by the dawn's early light, what so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming? Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight. O'er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming. And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.

Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave, o'er the land of the free and the home of the brave -- America, America, America, America, my home, America.

MESERVE: President-Elect George W. Bush all smiles as he attends this first event marking his inauguration as the 43rd president of the United States. Bush himself will be speaking a bit later in the program. We'll bring that to you live as part of an extended edition of "INSIDE POLITICS" which starts right after this break. I'm Jeanne Meserve in Washington.

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