- Posted January 21, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Obama's inauguration: In the crowd
Lynyrd Skynyrd helping heroes at the Inaugural ball
- dsashin, CNN iReport producer
The event was co-hosted by Speaker John Boehner and Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi among others.
The event was presented by Citizens Helping Heroes, a nonpolitical, nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC. Citizens Helping Heroes (CHH) is dedicated to supporting those who selflessly defend our collective freedoms, primarily through their military service to our country. Citizens Helping Heroes provides both direct and indirect support to our military, to their families, and to allied support organizations, such as the USO and TAPS, (the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors).
One of the primary platforms that CHH uses to recognize and honor our military is through signature events like The Red, White and Blue inaugural ball.
Lynryd Skynyrd took the Warner theater stage by storm and performed classic hits like Sweet Home Alabama, What’s Your Name and Tuesdays Gone to a sold out audience. Lynyrd Skynyrd are known for tirelessly working to support Americas’ troops, and when the bands singer Johnny Van Zant dedicated the song Simple Man to all members of the military and their families, the theater was filled with emotion. As the song began a large backdrop was unveiled showing badges and emblems honoring different branches of the armed services.
Tonights show specifically benefited the Green Beret foundation and Dog tags/Washington Humane Society. The members of Lynryd Skynyrd were Given a framed certificate of appreciation by members of the Green Beret Foundation before taking the stage. Members Gary Rossington and Rickey Medlocke along with Johnny Van Zant did on camera interviews with CNN and Fox News to discus the event, as well as topics from gun control to the Inauguration itself.
The Audience was celebrating in high gear as Lynryd Skynyrd took the stage for their encore. Singer Johnny Van Zant asked the Crowd ‘in the words of my older brother, Ronnie Van Zant......what song is you wanna hear.' The Warner theater erupted a response in one huge voice, ‘Free bird.'
Pianist Peter Keys began the songs unmistakeable piano intro as a back drop displaying a massive American Eagle was revealed and overshadowed the stage. The bands soaring rendition of the Rock n Roll classic ended the night on a majestic note.