Wednesday, January 28, 2009
The big event on January 20 was the presidential inauguration. Though we didn't have tickets, we started out walking fairly early from Capitol Hill, but streets kept being blocked off as we walked along, deviating us always further south. We got to the Wash. Monument just as the swearing-in was starting, standing behind a Jumbotron, so we couldn't see, only hear. Folks were perched up in trees and on top of port-a-potties. Still, it was fun to be part of that enthusiastic crowd, undaunted by cold and wall-to-wall people. Next to us were a man who had come from Nigeria for the occasion and several shivering girls from Hawaii. In 1983, when I heard MLK give his "Dream" speech, seeing him as just a tiny figure in the far distance, I didn’t realize at the time that it would be considered such an historic occasion. Obama's inauguration will be remembered as equally or more historic, but many more people were involved. Although the view from our vantage point was completely blocked, at least we can all say we were there, at Obama's first swearing-in, part of those 1.8 million or so happy souls.