Susan and Marco\'s Trip to Obama 2009 Inauguration
President Barack Obama’s Historic Inauguration January 20, 2009 Photos from Susan and Marco’s amazing journey to Washington, DC Susan’s birthday was also on 1-20-2009. She got the best gift ever - her country back.
Reverend Gerald Durley and his wife We met Rev. Durley on our flight into DC. Marco asked about the massive Martin Luther King pendant around his neck. He said “Oh, Coretta gave me and six others this medal for our work with Martin Luther King, Jr.” He told us about being jailed with MLK many times, visiting Nelson Mandela, and now Obama's inauguration.
Reverend Gerald Durley and his wife He admitted that he only came to the inauguration because Obama called and asked him to come. Imagine being strong armed by Obama to come to his inauguration. What an honor to meet Rev. Durley and his wife. Thanks for the photo Rev. Durley.
Roland and Mary Adams with Susan and Marco in front of Old Ebbitt’s Grill
Roland and Mary Adams with Susan and Marco in front of Old Ebbitt’s Grill We went downtown to breathe in the energy , visit the Mall before it was jammed on the 20 th , and eat. We met Roland and Mary Adams, the only two democrats from Orange County, CA.
Roland and Mary Adams with Susan and Marco in front of Old Ebbitt’s Grill It was their anniversary and my birthday. We shared a table and celebrated together. We had a great lunch, smiles, laughter, and tears on this momentous occasion. One of their sons works at BBC and the other is in the Air Force. Join us in sending Mary and Roland good vibes and safe travels for their sons.
Capitol Photo at Sunset January 19, 2009 We went over to the Capitol to get some photos and see the Mall. I remember this one woman about my age who was showing her two younger daughters where their standing tickets were for the 20 th . She said “ We’ll be standing right here and I know it looks like we’re a long way away, but I KNOW Obama will be looking right at me.”
Another photo of the Capitol Marco gave me a new camera for the trip so we could keep a digital diary of the event. If only the camera had feel-a-vision so you could feel the excitement --- you can’t capture that on film. That’s why being there was so important.
An Obama Volunteer from Massachusetts We walked over to the Rayburn building to see if we could score any last minute swearing in tickets. It seemed like everyone we met had tickets. We stood in line for about 1.5 hours. While in line we met some lovely people who were so excited to be there. Some had volunteered like this gentleman from Massachusetts in the previous photo. We know he feels our good vibes all the way home.
Beth and Jill from Indiana We met Beth and Jill while standing in line at the Congressional Building. Lovely ladies from Indiana in search of a reception for volunteers from their state. No one even seemed to mind that is was freezing cold. Everyone was just buzzing with energy and goodwill.
Beth and Jill from Indiana We got inside and went to every representatives’ office to see if anyone had waiting list tickets that didn’t get picked up. We didn’t get that lucky, but were still happy to be here with 1.8M of our closest friends. Jill, Beth, Roland, Mary, and Massachusetts guy happy inauguration day.
Marco on the DC Mall 1-19-2009 We walked over to the Mall to see the preparations because we knew on the 20 th we wouldn’t get anywhere near the podium. It was a somber time for both of us and I was really touched that we both had tears inside of us that flowed so freely. And we weren’t alone. Everywhere people were crying and hugging total strangers.
Marco smiling - on the DC Mall 1-19-2009 In a lighter moment I managed to coax a smile out of Marco. For someone who used to model he sure hates having his picture taken .
In the subway headed to the Inauguration 1-20-2009 OK, so the metro was the worst part, but I’ve been in longer traffic jams on I-85 in Atlanta. We waited about 45 minutes to get onto the platform and only three trains before we got on. It was short ride to L’Enfant Plaza but boy were we packed in like sardines. Thanks goodness it wasn’t a hot day!
Marco at top of metro station Well we arrived in downtown DC about 10:00 am. Not bad considering the crowds and the event ---- to get from Crystal City to DC in 1.5 hours. We were thrilled. But still pretty darned cold.
The crowd begins to grow on 12 th Street As we walked toward the Mall grounds the crowd started growing. But again I can’t tell you how happy everyone was and how polite, helpful, and courteous people were.
Blue Democrat Donkey runs amok in the streets The streets were filled with a little bit of craziness and fun. This democratic donkey stood still for photos. Don’t know the woman in the photo.
And the crowd grew It was just amazing to have that many people in tight spaces and most of us with no hope of seeing the President. We all just wanted to be there on such a historic day.
Uncle Sam on Stilts The best way to find your location or an open gate was definitely on stilts, but alas only one of the 1.8M people thought of that. What fun we had with the fellow celebrants!
... And the crowd grew some more We walked the entire length of the Mall (about 3 miles). My little toes were almost numb, but my fingers were nice and toasty with the hand warmers I had in my pockets. Every cross-street seemed to be blocked by barricades. Finally a young man in fatigues told us to go to 18 th Street and cut across to the Mall from there.
Voila we were on the Mall grounds We arrived on the Mall grounds about 11:40. Just in time to use the port-a-potty (a 1 minute wait - WOW) and find a spot to stand. We had missed much of the music and early festivities, but not all of it. We looked around for some high ground and found a great spot . . . But first a few camera lessons.
Susan and new camera lessons Ok, so maybe I should have read the directions for the new camera before the trip, but it worked out in the end. And yes I look like the Michelin Tire Girl.
We stood on the northeast corner of the Washington Monument So here we took our stand for Obama’s inauguration at the northeast corner of the Washington Monument. Of course we were at least 2.5 miles from the podium, but we were only a few hundred yards from a Jumbotron giant TV screen. And that was lucky from what we hear.
The Mall on January 20, 2009, about 11:45 a.m. The Mall began to fill up quickly after we got onto the grounds. People were excited and smiling, happy and crying. We were crowded but not elbow to elbow yet.
The Mall grounds just before the music started – January 20, 2009 Then more people came and then more, until it was a wall of people as far as I could see. The Mall was full from the Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial.
The Musical Program The musical program included several well known musicians. Anthony McGill on clarinet, then Yo-Yo Ma. Itzhak Perlman also played. Aretha Franklin sang “My Country ‘Tis of Thee” with an outrageous hat atop her cold head.
Joe Biden takes the oath of Office of Vice President Michelle Obama enters the stage The excitement continued growing as Joe Biden took his oath of office (first photo). And then Michelle Obama (next photo) entered the stage. Then we all waited breathlessly for Obama.
Barack Hussein Obama Takes the Oath Michelle Obama looking on In Obama’s trademark mature style, he doesn’t crack when Chief Justice John Roberts manages to flub the 35 words in the oath. Obama continues and does not correct Justice Roberts. As a constitutional scholar Obama clearly knew the correct wording of the oath. Later that week Obama took the oath of office again, with the correct wording intact.
The Inaugural Address The address begins by recognizing that the challenges ahead are as monumental and historic as this moment. He quickly gets to the theme of hope. “ On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord. We remain a young nation. But in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things.”
The Inaugural Address “ The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness.”
The Inaugural Address He reminds us what free men and women can achieve when imagination is joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage. He reminds us that it was only 60 years ago when his father, a Kenyan senior economist, might not have been served at a local restaurant. And that it is our country, in which now he, the son of that Kenyan man, can stand before you to take the oath of office for the presidency of most powerful country on earth.
The Inaugural Address “ Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America. The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works - whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, health care they can afford, or a retirement that is dignified. ”
The Inaugural Address And he discusses foreign policy … “ . . . we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals. And so, to all the other peoples and governments who are watching today . . . know that America is a friend of each nation, and every man, woman and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity.
The Inaugural Address “ And for those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now that our spirit is stronger and cannot be broken -- you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you. ”
The Inaugural Address “ Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends -- honesty and hard work, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism -- these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. ”
The Inaugural Address “ So, let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.”
God Bless America & Thank God A Change in the Weather Has Finally Come to America