Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I am not a political person. I don't read Politico or Roll Call and I have no desire to make a career on the Hill.

That being said, I want to tell you about my experience at the Swearing In Ceremony of Barack Obama.

I was able to get very good seats from my office. We had a lottery for those two seats and I won the third round. I gave my extra ticket to my roommate Meg and we made plans to spend the night in my office so we could get an early start on the crowds (Nikki and Quinn were able to join us, as they had seated tickets as well).

The night before Inauguration there was a buzz in the town. We had dinner a couple of blocks from the Capitol and the traffic was horrible, but people were friendly. All day long I had been handing out tickets to the Ceremony in my office and people were excited to be part of the event.

The morning of the Ceremony, we got in line at 6:15 am. The line was already around the block when we arrived. Some walked past us, begging for extra tickets, and other walked around selling memorabilia, t-shirts, buttons, scarfs, hats, all with Obama written across. Everyone was bundled up and ready to wait for a long time. By time we got through security, the lines were past where we could see and growing larger. We set up camp, wrapping ourselves in blankets and watched the crowds.

We decided to go to the bathroom and ran into several celebrities, Samuel L. Jackson, Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon, Common and Tracee Ross. We sat in front of Michael J. Fox and Ray Allen, and passed Alicia Keyes and Elder M. Russell Ballard on our way. It was a really cool experience to see the celebrities leave their entourages behind and be among the people.

The Ceremony itself was a great experience. I have a great camera and was able to take some amazing pictures of the Ceremony. I think that Obama had some very strong words, especially to leaders of nations that are not our allies. I hope that he can do all that he promised, especially regarding the economy and health care. I agree with some commentary that I read today that said his speech was "a warning bell but ultimately optimistic". I think what impressed me the most was the people around me. Some had traveled far and wide to be part of this and Obama did not disappoint.

I felt honored to be able to attend this event and look forward to sharing it with my children. May the next four years be eventful and full of change and promise...

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