I was one of the 800,000 who attended President Barack Obama’s inauguration for his second term! After missing out on the historical experience in 2009 due to law school I was so excited for the opportunity to attend this year. We were some of the lucky ones with tickets to the event. Not the great seated tickets but the “close” standing room. We headed into the district via the train at about 6:30am from Maryland for an 11:30am event mind you and were herded like cattle to the back of our section to the far left. We were essentially late. If we gotten there a little earlier I think we would have gotten the prized area right smack dab in the middle were we would have had views of figures moving across the stage and perhaps figures that were in the zoomable range. Through the barren trees we were able to see the TV monitors. The cheers and jeers of the crowd also gave us a good indication of who was entering. Beyonce, Queen B as I like to call her, received the loudest cheers after the President of course. Representative Boehner and Representative Cantor were mercilessly booed as expected. Then there was the President’s speech. Despite not being able to make him out with my naked eye, I loved that I was there to hear all of it in real time. Then being surrounded by likeminded supporters of the President made it even better.
-Side view of the Capitol as we made our way to our ticketed area.
After Beyonce blessed us with her beautiful recorded voice we left . Going to the parade sounded good in theory but really after standing on my feet for six hours all I could think was lunch and then back home to bed. Oh and let me just tell you, I’ve never felt more like cattle in my life! Capitol police would close off gates at a moments notice to push people in another direction and like cattle you wouldn’t know where you were going until you were stuck. In fact they almost tricked us into moving into an area further back, by herding you in the direction of the closer standing room area but then cutting that side off and pushing you back 100ft. Since we played it smart, we were able to move up closer. Still not close enough to really see but closer.
– The best view we got. I assume that portion with the Presidential seal is where the speakers stood although I couldn’t make them out.
Would I do it again? Probably not. A hilarious guy next to us said this is that thing you do once to say you did and never do it again! If I ever made the trip back to DC for another inauguration I will only partake in the the parade and a nice inaugural ball where the President is expected to make an appearance. Still seeing the first African American President being sworn in for his second term was an AMAZING experience! Still very glad I made the trip!
-Our view through the trees, LOL and someone’s hat!
Oh and in a moment of what could of been… On Tuesday after the inauguration my family and I went on a tour of the Capitol led by a staff member from my Congressmen’s office. If you have the choice, the staff led tours see more than the standard tour from the Capitol Visitors center. Well during our exclusive tour we made our way to the door that President Obama entered the Inauguration stage from. There was a line forming for visitors to step out onto the stage and take pictures and take in all of the Inaugural exclusivity! We were SO excited. As we waited in line we thought about what angles we would take our pictures from. Who we would send the pictures to, to make them jealous of course. We were literally next in line to head out onto the stage when Capitol police told us we are sorry, we just got word that only Congressional staff are allowed out on the stage from this point on. Talk about a let down!! But I was able to get this little view from inside :(.
We were SO CLOSE!