A host of Westporters were in Washington yesterday for the presidential inauguration.
Electoral College voter Jim Ezzes was there. So was Wake Forest University student Sanders McNair, and technology writer David Pogue and his kids.
Board of Education member Mark Mathias was there with his family, too. Here’s his report:
Late last week, it occurred to us that Monday was not only Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, but President Obama’s inauguration ceremony. Most importantly, it was a day off from work and school for the whole family. Time for a road trip!
We heard about buses that go to Washington for the day, so were secured seats on one of them for our family. You ride down very early the day of the inauguration, see it, then return home the same day. Sweet.
The driving itself was uneventful, but the day in Washington was magic.
There were crowds everywhere, and everyone was in a good mood. Forgetting about politics for a minute, we were there to see yet another manifestation of how our country hands control from one term to another. Peacefully and safely. For hundreds of years.
While the subways were running, we walked everywhere. On the day of the inauguration there are no taxis, and very few private vehicles on any streets. All of downtown DC is a pedestrian area.
We got tickets courtesy of a Connecticut legislator, but the area in which we stood was so oversubscribed and crowded that being further away might have been better.
What was so wonderful was seeing so many people who were there to see the leader who had been peacefully elected to run our country. Clearly the bulk of attendees were Democrats, but there were members of all political parties who were there for the event, as well as to support our leaders.
As we talked and mingled with others, there was a definite happiness and warmth in the air. People had come from all over the country for this event. The weather held out as forecasts of cold weather, rain and even snow did not materialize. Instead we had quite cool weather, but sunny skies and good crowds kept us warm.
Even before we went, our son said he wanted to buy an Obama bobblehead. Among all of the souvenir items, we found one for him.
What came to mind at the end of the day were two things.
First, the day was like a MasterCard commercial:
- Cost of a bus ticket to the inauguration: $150
- Food and souvenirs: $100
- Hearing my son whisper/sing “America the Beautiful” along with James Taylor: Priceless
Second, while the attendees were saying history was made on Monday, the history made for me was with my family and children who were able to experience the inauguration of the President of the United States. Not only will they remember the event, but hopefully it will remind them of the strength and value of what this country is, and what they are a part of.