We enjoyed this story of attending the Inauguration that was written by Michael C. Warren, one of MYcroSchool Gainesville’s instructional staff:
I’m not a fan of waking up at 6 A.M., but for the second Inauguration of Barack Obama, our first African-American president, I made an exception.
I made sure to bundle up tremendously to survive the 30 degree weather in Washington, D.C. I filled my pockets with snacks and made the drive from my hotel to the Metro station, where trains were running every 6 minutes. I made it the National Mall in record time, but then, came the walking. We walked. And walked. And walked some more.
Streets were barricaded and you weren’t exactly sure where you were supposed to go. But, I quickly learned to “follow the crowd” and, whilst bumping shoulders often, was able to get to the National Mall where the crowds were settling in for the Inauguration activities.
Hundreds of volunteers sporting red skullcaps with “57th Presidential Inauguration Committee” embroidered across the front waved merrily to the incoming spectators. “Welcome!” “How are you?” “Great to see you!” “Where are you from?” “Thanks for coming!” I felt like I was on the red carpet. So, waved back, answered that I came from Gainesville, Florida, and kept it moving.
As if to take your mind off the cold, the jumbotrons placed around the Capitol kept the crowds entertained by playing specially made videos for the Inauguration by celebrities such as Ellen DeGeneres, Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel. Even Count von Count from Sesame Street made a special appearance for the children in the crowd, giving a brief lesson on the number of Senates, House of Representatives, etc.
When I got bored with the jumbotrons, I began to look around. I noticed little black specks on top of some of the surrounding buildings. It wasn’t until those little specks started moving that I realized they were snipers. This sparked a lovely game of “Spot the Sniper” and “Spot the Undercover Cop” that I played for about an hour with my fiancée. Surprisingly, this made me forget the cold weather for a little while.
As the morning stretched on, different politicians and esteemed guests were brought on to the stage and introduced. The crowd cheered wildly when Beyonce and Jay-Z appeared on the stage. Spectators were quiet when different dignitaries were announced, but cheered loudly for the usual suspects like the Bidens, the Clintons, and Sasha, Malia, and Michelle.
During the President’s Inaugural Address, a hush fell over the crowd. During his Address, you could see the hope fill the eyes of the crowd when the President mentioned the demographic they associate with or social justice issue they’re passionate about… immigrants, LGBT community, college students, global warming, and so on.
Fitting, considering this day marked the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, the 50th anniversary of the march on Washington and as if that wasn’t enough, landed on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day as well.
I forgot about the cold for a little while and thought about what was most important in that moment; history was being made, and I had the opportunity to witness it. I’m excited to see what the next four years has in store for this great country.Michael C. Warren is the career technical teacher at MYcroSchool Gainesville.