Inauguration Blog: PHOTOS AVAILABLE
This is where I will be keeping everybody updated on my trip to Washington D.C. for the Presidential Inauguration of President Barack Obama.
Here's a little bit of a rough itinerary of what my trip will detail.
Monday: At about 9 a.m., I will stop by Congressman Bart Stupak's office to officially pick up my ticket for the historic event. Soon after getting the ticket, I will be attending the Michigan Delegation Open House in the Library of Congress with my good friend, Jason Fritz, a fellow graduate of Whittemore-Prescott.
I will be carrying a laptop and camera with me and hope to post pics of the open house soon after leaving the party. I will also blog at this time.
After that, I will be traveling around our nation's capitol, visiting the famous sites throughout the city. By Monday evening, or possibly earlier, I hope to have more photos and blogs posted.
Tuesday will be a little more tricky. During the ceremony, I will only be able to bring a camera with me, so I won't be able to instantly update readers. However, I will be sending text messages to people with access to a computer, telling them what's going on, so the blog will be updated.
I am extremely excited and blessed to be going to the Inauguration, and I really look forward to sharing the experience with the readers of the Independent, the Herald and the Herald-News. Check here often for updates.
Jan. 19, 7:30 p.m.
As you can probably guess if you have turned on a TV today, it was pretty hectic in DC.
We caught a metro train this morning to get in the capitol, and I quickly got in line to get in to the Rayburn Capitol Building to get my ticket from Bart Stupak's office.
As you can imagine, the line was far from short. It stretched around one side of the building and whatnot, similar to every other building where ticklets were being distributed.
After getting the ticket, we headed over to the Library of Congress Madison Building, where we were hoping to score some pics of the members of the Michigan Delegation.
By the time I got the ticket, though, and made my way over there, we were greeted by another long line and the party had nearly wrapped up. Then, we saw Lt. Governor John Cherry come out. Soon after, Mr. Stupak followed too. Then it was announced the party was over. We lingered to see if Gov. Granholm or Sen. Carl Levin or Debbie Stabenow were on their way out, but saw none of them.
Thus began our free trek around the capitol. We checked out the Library of Congress Jefferson Building, Washington Monument and other landmarks; saw two live newscasts by MSNBC and CNN; and just took in the scene overall. You could defnitely see from the large turnout of African-Americans, not just from DC, but all over the country judging from the people I talked to, that it was probably one of the biggest and most exciting days in American History for them. Plus, being MLK day, it seemed very coincidental that on back to back days one of the biggest past heroes of the Black community was observed, while the next day the man who will no doubt be the biggest hero in the future for African-Americans will be sworn in as president.
It was defnitely an interesting and exciting day. I have been experiencing some issues loading pictures on the Web site, but will keep on trying.
By the way, I was also interviewed for a student newspaper or something from NYU. It might pop up on their Web site, who knows! Talk to you soon.
Tuesday, Jan. 20 8:45 p.m.
Being from the country, today was definitely closet I've been to madness. The crowds were huge, the lines were long and the bus rides dull, but everybody was in the same boat, so nobody seemed too agitated.
Actually, the overall vibe, for how cramped everybody was, stayed pretty positive throughout the day. It was quite a process getting to my ticketed spot, which made me watch the ceremonies on a jumbotron, which had tree branches covering parts of it, but still, it was exciting.
The crowd was definitely ready for it today. Everywhere you looked there was a swarm of people and it was fun gauging the crowd's response to what was happening on the screens and stage. Aretha Franklin got a huge applause, as did many of the Cabinet members who would appear before the crowd. Sasha and Malia were shown backstage and that was about the closest the day had to offer to a collective "awww." When Yo Yo Ma and other cellists and violinists played, I think some folks nearly fell asleep standing up.
The living former presidents all got a pretty good response. It was great seeing Jimmy Carter, who in my opinion looked to be very healthy. I knew Bush Sr. was now using a cane after I watched the ship dedication recently, but didn't realize how rough it was for him, but he handled himself with grace as expected. And of course, President Clinton remains a rock star.
President George W. Bush wasn't as well-received as the others. There were some boos, and throughout the time he was being introduced and shown backstage, there were several choruses of "Na na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye."
But before long the man everyone came to see, Barack Obama, arrived and was shown backstage. What can I say? The guy seemed so confident, ready, relaxed and for lack of a better word - cool. I've heard the term "ice in the veins," but almost 3 million people and the President never looked to be in awe. His swearing in was great, and his speech was the usual - inspiring and powerful.
Even though there was plenty of discomfort and chaos on the streets, Obama still stole the show and I think people in attendance have a great story to tell future generations.
Check back for pictures.