Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Houston and I went down for Obama's inauguration. We had a place to stay within walking distance so we could avoid all mass transit. We walked down to the mall around 9:00 and arrived at the Washington Monument around 10:15 where we posted up for the swearing in.
We had these wonderful views of the monuments and the capitol before we crossed the bridge.
This was the GW Parkway, which was closed to traffic except for buses and taxis. It was pretty eery really.
The day was clear and crispy cold, around 18 degrees. The Potomac was frozen and peaceful.
This stark white sycamore stood out in sharp contrast.
Walking across the Arlington Memorial Bridge, was a sea of people, all being drawn to the day's festivities.
Folks were taking over the World War 2 Memorial to get a view of the Jumbotron. There were hundreds of volunteers around welcoming us to the mall. The spirits of all the people were so high and everyone was excited.
We ended up at the base of the Washington Monument. It's as close as we could get and was just fine by me because we had plenty of breathing room, a good view of one of the 20 jumbotrons and the crowd was so happy, cheerful and friendly.
Looking up, many jets were flying over, leaving trails behind creating circles all around.
It really wasn't too crowded where we stood. I had room to move around, stomp my feet when they got cold and throw my arms up in the air whenever Obama showed up on the jumbotron.
The sound system was great. That's one of the speakers hanging from the crane on the left. National Guard guys were on the viewing stands overlooking the crowd. Obama's speech was well received and I could not believe how quiet 2 million people could be. A reverent hush came over the crowd and as I looked around, all eyes were on Obama and all faces showed a content smile.
Leaving the celebration was when it really got crowded. We were herded to just one exit onto Constitution. But first we hit a wall (like maybe 50) portapotties. Some younger folks were climbing over them or walking along the tops of them. Us old folks just had to slowly make our way around them.
People in trees held up signs that read "Hope".
This is the crowd leaving. In the background is the wall of buses that we couldn't get around without walking even further down Constitution.
The National Guard were blocking most of the roads around the parade route and the White House.
and some folks just wanted to pose with the guards.
The parade was a blur.
Ghost riders. At the end of it all, we walked back to our condo for the night, exuberant and feeling that we are now on a path to recovery and better world standing. We are all putting so much faith in our new president and I believe that he is the man for the job. Best of luck to or new leader.