Living a couple of miles away from the National Mall, I couldn’t miss the chance to be a part of such a historic event. Sure, I didn’t have tickets, I wouldn’t be able to actually see anything other than a ton of people and a Jumbo-tron, and would be standing out in the freezing cold for hours…. It didn’t matter, I was going!
At about 9am I put on my layers, jumped on my bike and rode down Rock Creek Park past the Watergate, Kennedy Center, and Lincoln Memorial to the south side of the mall where I was forced to abandon my ride when I ran into a huge crowd of people pushing their way over to the Washington Monument. It was intense, but people were friendly as they staked out their spots and asked strangers to take their pictures.
It was packed! I grew up coming to the National Mall for special events including the 4th of July and other inaugurations, but I've never seen so many people gathered there.
And the crowd was definitely participating in the event. As well known politicians or celebrities were introduced they were greeted with cheers or boos. When Cheney rolled out in a wheelchair (to the surprise of most) my section spontaneously started singing The Imperial March!
And then there was the swearing in.....
It was an amazing and emotional experience. I know I could have been warmer and seen more at home, but I'm proud to be counted in the almost 2 million that were there that day.
President Obama…. Sounds good doesn't it?