I waited for four, long hours in 27 degree weather on Jan. 20 to get a glimpse of President Barack Obama. As he came down 13th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, people from all over America and overseas screamed with enthusiasm as President Obama and the First Lady waved them on. One woman, Natalie Johnson, came all the way from Seattle, Wa. “It didn’t matter to me if I was close up or not, as long as I was able to say I was here,” Johnson said.
President Obama was sworn in on Capitol Hill around noon, and the parade followed at 3:30 p.m.
I spoke to Bob Thomas from Tallahassee, Fla., who had been outside since four in the morning. He was wrapped up in a ski suit and blanket. He told me he was not accustomed to the cold weather, but he could not just watch something this historic on television.
“I’ve been in D.C. since Saturday and I loved everything about this inaugural process, from the concert all the way to the speech,” Thomas said.
The concert was held on Jan. 18, at 2:30 p.m. Performers included Bruce Springsteen, U2, John Legend, Mary J. Blige and Beyonce.
Thomas’ favorite part of the inauguration was the speech given by President Obama after being sworn in. Obama stated that less than 60 years ago his father might not have received service at a local restaurant, but today he is able to stand before the country and accept the oath of office.
“I thought that the statement was very powerful and it brought tears to my eyes,” Thomas said.
Over 1.8 million people were present in Washington, D.C. to witness the parade and the inauguration ceremony, and I did not see a single dry eye.