My Inauguration Experience

21 Jan

My Inauguration

“Good…God…” were the first words to come out of my mouth on the historic morning of Barack Obama’s Inauguration. As I rolled out of bed and turned on CNN, my still half-asleep eyes quickly opened to the sight of hundreds of thousands of people already down on the mall. I quickly realized that my well thought out plan of action for the day would quickly change.

inauguration-052I swiftly threw on my many layers of long underwear, pinned on a few Obama buttons and rushed my way out the door. I met up with some friends and made the game time decision to try out the metro. Half the group (including myself) was unable to squeeze onto the first train, so we made plans to meet up at our final stop. Unfortunately that stop was closed to my train, so we ended up getting off in Chinatown. As we poured into the streets by the thousands, excitement was warming the air. Venders were selling anything and everything with Obama’s face plastered on it. No one seemed to care what it was, as long as it had Obama across the side, people were buying it.

After walking past several closed entrance points to the mall, we ended up all the way back at the Washington Monument. That turned out to be a perfect spot for a few perfect hours on the mall. We were surrounded with smiling faces, chanting voices and hugging arms. The crowd cheered for the good guys as they walked across the stage and sang goodbye to Bush and Cheney. People cried when the oath was taken and sang hallelujah when the speech was spoken. Joy and peace filled the mall that day, and for the people around me at least, not even the bitter cold or long waits in the crowd were going to take that away.

After the ceremony, we inched our way off the mall and walked to U Street. inauguration-035There we warmed up with some celebratory drinks and watched the parade with several other half-thawed supporters. Every time Obama would come onto the TV, the restaurant erupted with cheers and applause. It was quite the sight to see.

For so many of us, January 20, 2009 will be a day we never forget. Dreams came true and hope was restored. I look forward to promises being kept and progress taking place. This is not only the end of an era I hope we quickly leave behind us, but the beginning of a future I can’t wait to be a part of.

“What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility — a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world,” – President Barack Obama

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