Bono's reference to Palestinian dream

 

Despite the presence of heavyweights from the world of politics and entertainment, the celebration of Barack Obama’s upcoming presidency at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington yesterday was light on political commentary.

One exception at the carefully choreographed event was U2's Bono who made reference to the horrors witnessed in Gaza over the last three weeks when he sang Pride (In the name of Love)- the band's dedication to Martin Luther King.

"Let freedom ring," announced Bono as U2 arrived on stage.

“This is not just an American dream,' he said. "Also an Irish dream, a European dream, an African dream . . . . an Israeli dream . . . and also a Palestinian dream."

"Let freedom ring, let freedom ring . . . " he said, as guitarist the Edge played the opening chords to City of Blinding Lights.

"What a thrill for four Irish boys from the northside of Dublin to honour you sir, the next president of the United States, Barack Obama," Bono said.

A crowd of hundreds of thousands stretched from the memorial around the giant reflecting pool and beyond the Washington Monument, and greeted Mr Obama and his wife, Michelle, with a great cheer as they descended the steps below the statue of Lincoln.

Mr Obama told the crowd that they reflected the diversity of the coalition that drove his election campaign.

Bruce Springsteen sang Woodie Guthrie's famous This Land Is Your Landin a duet with 89-year-old Pete Seeger. The concert also featured performances by Mary J. Blige, Garth Brooks, Usher, Shakira, and Sheryl Crow.

Mr Obama will become the new US president at a ceremony in Washington tomorrow.