The inauguration of the 44th President of the United States was grandly celebrated in Washington D.C. and around the country on Jan. 20.
At Eastern there was an “All-Day Inauguration Celebration” at Jammin’ Java, sponsored by the Office of Student Development, the Office of the Provost and the Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences.
The lobby, which was decorated with quotes from Obama and facts on Abraham Lincoln, was packed from around 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. with students and faculty members. Before the swearing-in of the president, Pastor Rick Warren led a prayer ceremony. The sight of people praying in the Jammin’ Java was one of the most captivating moments.
Obama officially became the President of the United States when the clock struck noon, as laid out in the Constitution. The swearing-in occurred a few minutes after noon, and on the announcement of their new president after the ceremony, the crowd outside of the Capitol and inside Jammin’ Java welcomed the United States’ fourth-youngest president with cheers and applause.
The enthusiasm and happiness of both the small crowd in the café and the huge pack in D.C. was reflected through tears and applause.
When asked, seven out of eight interviewed students who watched the commemoration live in Jammin’ Java admitted that this was their first time watching a presidential inauguration. Junior Elaine Dube said she was at Jammin’ Java, “to witness history live with everyone,” confessing that she never showed this kind of interest for any other president. This is not true just for Dube.
“I don’t remember much about previous presidential inaugurations,” senior Amy Beach said.
Professor Kevin Maness, who travelled to D.C. to watch the inauguration, said that he had never watched any inauguration before, not even on TV. This year was different, as he said he wanted to see, “history in the making,” and to be able to say, “I was there.”
Students and faculty members listened to Obama’s speech, that, according to faculty member Fran Nutter-Mawusi, “covered the past, present and future in a realistic way, while encouraging hope and personal responsibility.”
While some said the speech gave hope, other students like junior Alex Jolicoeur, rooted all their trust in Obama. “Obama knows what he is doing, and he will do his job,” Jolicoeur said.
Most of the people started to leave the lobby after the speech content and happy, but there were others who stayed back to watch the rest of the celebration, full of excitement.