Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Inauguration Day

There's been plenty written about Inauguration Day and I could go on and on, but thought it would be more meaningful for me to keep in mind just two clear memories from my time on the Mall.

1. The metro stations closest to the Mall were closed one by one due to heavy foot traffic in the areas. By the time I got off at the Chinatown metro stop, a passenger had already been struck by an oncoming train, so overcrowding was getting pretty harmful. The only way to get onto the mall was by walking all the way to the back end of the mall, near the Washington Monument. This was a long walk people, through some pretty harsh conditions -- cold, wind, crowds, all on foot, and I was alone. It could have been miserable.

By the time I finally made it to the tail end of the mall, the ceremony had already begun with all the people congregating on the stage, getting ready for the main people to make an appearance. I was starting to get a little cranky when suddenly, out of nowhere, the crowds broke and I saw before me an entire sea of people waiting to see this momentous event. I was so overwhelmed I broke into tears. The yearning of all of those people gathered together was nearly tangible. It was a beautiful sight.

2. While listening to the ceremony I stood by myself, shaking my tail off and trying to stand out of the wind, but in the direct sun light. After shivering for a while, a lady to my right said, "Hey you are shaking! Come stand over here with us and we'll all huddle together." Normally, my shy self would have politely declined, but it was pretty darn cold, so I shamelessly accepted and wedged my body in between my new-found friends from Pennsylvania and New Jersey. There in the middle of strangers, I celebrated this deeply personal and yet profoundly communal event. It was a beautiful way to celebrate.

Walking with the crowds to the Mall

Finally arriving at the Monument

I love this man's inauguration day garb!

The back of the Mall, before it got crazy crowded

A lovely home-made flag

A small idea of how crowded it was

It was a beautiful day

**So ... where were you when Obama took the oath?


  1. So proud of you for going...so jealous of you that you did! :)

  2. I was in my office. In a tiny little conference room with a few other people who decided they wanted to watch the inauguration with others in a quiet place. It was great! Watching this historical moment with a bunch of random people whom I'd never spoken with before. I bet it was far cooler from you were, though. I shoulda stayed in DC.

  3. yes, baby. i absolutely remember our pink "marry me or her" shirt! i still kind of want to wear that to a sufjan concert one day. can we make a loose promise to do that?

    and that man with his white turban. brilliant!