Inauguration Stories from Attendees

27 Jan

On Tuesday, January 20, 2009, Barack Obama was sworn in as the first Black and 44th president of the United States.  While I had a ringside seat from my home, several people had the pleasure of being among the estimated 1.5 million visitors in the crowd that day. 

Please share your personal stories of the event.  Include what you saw, how you felt…everything.  Let the readers feel how you felt during the event through your words.  I am not certain if you can upload photos.  If you can’t, send them to me and I’ll do it for you.

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3 Responses to “Inauguration Stories from Attendees”

  1. Ron Barrett January 27, 2009 at 6:01 pm #

    I was in attendance to witness the history making event. Not only was I in DC in person on January 20th, I also had the honor of being present in Chicago’s Grant Park when Obama won the election. At both events I’ve never seen such kindness, such respect and such jubilation in people in my life. And it was not just African Americans. People of all races, genders and creeds were on one accord celebrating a victory. The crowds in DC were massive, yet no one was hurt; not one arrest; and what I witnessed firsthand was the effect that this God sent man has on a culture of people. I shall never forget it as it will long remain a part of my memory.

    • Marcie January 27, 2009 at 10:17 pm #

      Thank you for sharing your aacount of this historical event. You are truly appreciated.

  2. Lisa Johnson February 6, 2009 at 10:09 am #

    I had a wonderful time. My Story is the following:

    The Monday before the Inauguration, we went to Morgan State University in Maryland to view a ceremonial unveiling of the Wax figure of President Barack Obama. That was exciting. Then we went to the Black in Wax Museum were they transported the wax statue to reside. That was very educational.

    On Inauguration day, I actually viewed the Inauguration from the Skyline Hotel in Washington DC. My story of how we got to the hotel is that we were shuttled from RFK stadium to the downtown area. My cousin and I got separated from my sister, aunt and neighbor. They went ahead of us. With no bus or cab transportation, we were going to have to walk to the hotel. So when we got off the shuttle bus there was a guy in a parked car that the officers were asking him to move his car. My cousin
    thought she would just assist the officers in asking him to move and take us where we needed to go. (I asked her what is she getting us into.) She said just follow me.

    He was there waiting on one of his friends that just came to town. He was so willing to take us where we
    needed to go because he lived up the street from the hotel. I was afraid. But he turned out to be a nice resident of Washington DC. I saw church members and friends who were so excited heading to the Mall.

    Illinois State Representative Constance Howard hosted a viewing and reception at the hotel. I was trying to stay out of the bitter cold. After the inauguration, we tried to go out to view the parade. That is when all the drama hit. We asked several people how to get to the
    parade. We were on the right track until we asked this last officer who sent us in the totally wrong direction.

    Needless to say we did not see the parade. My leg went out from all the walking. He sent us under
    I365 ramp that seemed like we were passing through the “Red Sea”. We saw so many people heading towards that direction so we thought they were going to the parade as well. As a result, we did not question his
    direction.

    Once we got on the other side of the expressway, we were told it was on the side we just came from. I was in so much pain from all the walking and my arthritis kicking in. We found a nice officer who took mercy on us. He put us in his squad car with sirens on back to the RFK stadium where we had to meet with our motor coach. I will be so forever grateful to that officer. He didn’t have to do it. After hearing so many stories of people falling out from the walking, I call him my “Angel”. In hind sight if I knew that I was not going to see the parade, I would have opted to go out to the Mall with the millions of people to brave the cold to watch the inauguration.

    In addition, I ran into church members and friends at the hotel. When we got back to RFK stadium, I had a chance to visit the vendors for souvenirs. That was exciting. Later, we went to a local Ball in Randallstown Maryland. That was absolutely wonderful.

    On Wednesday, we toured the Capitol building. (As we were going to the Capitol building we found out we were only 2 blocks from the parade. If we just not had asked that last officer, we would have been able to see the parade.) When we got to the Capital building, we took pictures with Indiana Congressman Peter McClesky. I took pictures of the door President Obama went through in the rotunda of the Capitol. When we went into the gallery of statues of former Presidents, I did not realize that is were President Obama had his lunch before going out to the parade. I wish I had taken a picture of that room. I ran into co-workers at the Capitol Building. When I got back home and was watching it on TV, I realized I was just in that room. That was exciting to follow his steps sort of speak.

    The bus trip was a little tiring, but we had fun on the bus as well.

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