Our 5 Favorite Latino Moments from the Presidential Inauguration

The 2013 Presidential Inauguration weekend was a momentous occasion – and a hugely significant one for us! From the first Latino inaugural poet to the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice swearing in Vice President Biden, Latinos took center stage and a more prominent role in Obama’s second inauguration. Here’s a look at some of our favorite moments of the weekend.

1. Inauguration: Luis Leon

Reverend Luis Leon Gives Benediction, Recites Part in Spanish

The Rev. Luis Leon, who in 2005 became the first Latino to give an inaugural benediction, delivered his blessings and prayer Monday. Leon, 63, is a Cuban exile and head of John’s Episcopal Church in D.C., known as the “Church of the Presidents.” Leon ended his speech in Spanish, before giving the translation in English.  "Señor presidente, señor vicepresidente, que Dios bendiga todos sus días. Todo esto lo ruego, en el más santo nombre, Amén," he said. "Mr. President, Mr. Vice President, may God bless you all your days. All this we pray, in your most Holy name, Amen.” 

2. Inauguration: Eva Longoria

Eva Longoria Stuns as Host of the Latino Inaugural Concert

The actress hit the red carpet in a Vivienne Westwood gown as host of the “Latino Inaugural Concert” at the Kennedy Center in D.C. on Sunday, January 20. The event featured performances by big Latino names, including Rita Moreno and Prince Royce. The event also featured an appearance by VP Joe Biden. What a great showcase of Latino talent!

3. Inauguration: Julian Castro

San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro Speaks – Again

At the event hosted by Eva Longoria, the mayor, who gave the keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention, spoke again. This time, he recalled the admiration Latinos held for another president more than 50 years ago – John F. Kennedy. "As we said 'Viva Kennedy' 50 years ago, today we say 'Viva Obama,'" Castro said.

4. Inauguration: Richard Blanco

Richard Blanco Recites Inaugural Poem

Cuban-American Richard Blanco was the first Latino, openly gay and youngest person to be chosen as the inaugural poet. (What an honor!). The poem, ‘One Today,’ painted scenes about the United States and his childhood as the son of Cuban exiles in New York City and Miami. Blanco joins prestigious poets, such as Maya Angelou and Robert Frost, who have had the honor of the presidential selection. He ended the poem with a message of unity:

And always one moon

like a silent drum tapping on every rooftop

and every window, of one country – all of us –

facing the stars

hope – a new constellation

waiting for us to map it,

waiting for us to name it – together

5. Inauguration: Sotomayor

Sonia Sotomayor Swears in Vice President Joe Biden

The first Latina to join the highest court, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, administered the oath of office Sunday morning to Vice President Joe Biden, and Biden personally selected Sotomayor to swear him in. “From the first time I met her, I was impressed by Justice Sotomayor’s commitment to justice and opportunity for all Americans, and she continues to exemplify those values today," Biden said after choosing her. "Above all, I’m happy for the chance to be sworn in by a friend – and someone I know will continue to do great things.”