Millions braved low temperatures and massive crowds to attend the Inauguration of President Barack Obama on Tuesday in Washington, D.C., including a handful of celebrities, who were moved to great emotion.
“This is the place to be. There’s no other place on earth,” a proud Oprah Winfrey, who attended the ceremony with partner Stedman Graham and best friend Gayle King, told Access Hollywood. “I’ve got lots of Kleenex in my pocket.”
Oprah, who championed Obama long before he even entered the presidential race, managed to secure an excellent vantage point for President Obama’s swearing in, but it couldn’t shield her from the weather.
“I’m front and center and frozen and happy,” Oprah said. “I’m layered and I’m wearing something called men’s pantyhose. I got hot chilies in my hand and hot chilies in my boots!”
Usher was another star who happily braved the weather for the momentous occasion.
“Incredible,” he said simply of the Inauguration. “My tears turned to ice!”
Jamie Lee Curtis, Samuel L. Jackson and Denzel Washington, who all took part in HBO’s “We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial” over the weekend, also told Access they were moved by today’s ceremony.
“I’ve never been more proud to be an American in my whole life,” Jamie said.
“We’re part of the world community again,” Samuel commented.
“I’m speechless,” Denzel mustered.
Hip-hop superstar Jay-Z, who attended the event with his wife, Beyonce, told Access that the meaning of the moment hit him hard.
“An incredible feeling. Never thought this day would come,” he said. “It’s a beautiful step for America.”
Sean “Diddy” Combs, who watched the ceremony next to Jay-Z, offered his congratulations for the new president.
“Me and my man Barack. Love you baby,” he said blowing kisses towards the podium. “It’s a new day.”
Other stars who attended the main event included Dustin Hoffman and California’s First Lady Maria Shriver.
“I thought it was beautiful,” Maria commented to Access. “So moving.”
While a host of celebrities had seats, Pete Wentz, bassist from Fall Out Boy, walked to the inauguration and watched it with the masses.
“I… climbed a tree and watched it on the Jumbotron,” Pete blogged on his Web site. “It’s awesome we were all there for such a bigger purpose. A true moment in history I will remember. It just felt good.”
Ashlee Simpson-Wentz, Pete’s wife, helped her husband out from afar, when it came to the President’s inaugural speech.
“My wife held the phone up to the TV so we could hear the oath itself,” he wrote. “That was cool of her.”
“The City” star Whitney Port also jumped on the net following the ceremony to rave about watching the Inauguration on television.
“While watching the events of today’s inauguration all morning, I couldn’t help but be overwhelmed with tears of excitement at the prospect of change!!! I have never been more proud to be a young, American adult,” she blogged.