Obama Inauguration Blog


Our Inauguration Adventure Part I
January 24, 2009, 1:16 am
Filed under: My Adventures

I want to start out by saying that probably the most memorable part of the whole event was standing amidst the crowd that was streaming out of the National Mall as the president’s helicoptor flew overhead with George W in it, and the crowd looked up and began cheering and waving and singing “Nah, Nah, Nah, Nah, Hey, Hey, Hey, Good-bye”.  I did not participate in any of the booing in the crowd, but I gleefully waved off the outgoing president.

Yes, Grayson and I and our friends the Vogelsangs braved cold and crowd in order to witness history in person at the Inauguration of Barack Obama the 44th president of the United States.  (Have you all heard of this?!)

We arrived at the Capitol on Monday–silly Amy–when I heard our congressman had given us 3 tickets, and that I should pick them up in his office on Monday, I thought, I would just breeze through security and pick them up.  What I failed to take into account is that hundreds of other congressmen gave thousands of other people tickets and that security in our nation’s capitol is no small matter (Had you heard this?).

Here is a picture of the line we waited in outside the Rayburn Building to get to the office where our tickets were held:

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Note that the line down the side of the picture stretched out and around the building for a block.  We waited for two hours to get in to get our tickets and when we got there–oops wrong building.  Every other congressional building had the same lines to get in!  Well, here is a big secret –all those buildings are connected by secret underground tunnels.  Once you make it into one building you can get into them all.  This seems like a bit of a security loophole to me, but it was nice to know we did not have to go back into the cold.

We made our way through the tunnels to yet another building where we made it to Congressman Baron Hill’s office.  The office party was in full swing, and Kim and I took the opportunity to sit and rest and eat and mingle a bit with our Congressman and his staff.  Our tickets were waiting for us and we managed to wrangle a fourth ticket.  Unfortunately, the fourth ticket was in a different section than the other three.

Our kids were with Keith at the Air and Space Museum, and we met up with them toward the end of the day where we walked as close as we could get to the seats and the capitol–all decked out for the inauguration.  In the waning hours of the day it made for a beautiful picture:

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I will blog a bit later about the day of the inauguration, but before I close this first day, I want to note that everyone was on thier best behavior.  All two million people seemed to be saying–okay this is crowded but we are all here for the same reason so lets stay cool. 

Everywhere we went people were friendly and smiling.  We met people from all over the country.  One newspaper account said–there were no strangers.  I would have to agree with that statement. 

There was one particularly crazy time trapped in a crush of people on the metro when you just had to trust that people were not going to go nuts, and they did not.  They would erupt into spontaneous chants like “yes we can” and “O-Bam-A” but they kept their cool and joked and smiled. Here is a picture of the crush I referred to:  (on the platform below those are wall to wall people.)

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We waited in this crowd for an hour before we could get out.

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2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I wish I could have been there too. The optimism is uplifting. May it continue……

Comment by Jimmy Erb

I’m glad that you all made it through safely and had a great time. Thank you for this blog!

Comment by Steph W




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