Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Challenges We Face Are Real...But They Will Be Met!

The Inauguration of Barack Obama as seen by spectators
on the National Mall near the Lincoln Memorial.

Note the Washington Monument behind the Jumbotron and, way off
in the distance, the Capitol. (Click image to enlarge.)

Despite all the rhetoric from the networks that the Mall was packed, lines were painfully long, and access to the Mall supposedly difficult, I got on the 54 bus yesterday morning at 14th and Colorado NW around 9:15 and traveled down to 14th and L Streets NW. From there, I walked over to Constitution and 19th and entered the Mall unimpeded. I joined my fellow citizens near the Korean War Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial to see and listen to the inauguration of the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama. All I'm going to say is it was indescribably awesome and I'm glad I braved the cold and the crowds to see this historic event!

L: Ms. Hazel, a D.C. resident who lives up around Brookland, came out to celebrate a moment she said she
never thought she'd live to see. R: Gretchen, in town from Chicago, was proud to see one of her town's
finest leaders rise to the highest office in the land.

A shout out to Hazel from Brookland here in the city and Gretchen from Chicago, two strangers who became friends while we shared this great moment in American history--along with millions of others--on the Mall, at home, and abroad. To see a slideshow of just some of the hundreds of thousands of people who gathered on the Mall in celebration, click on the slideshow below.

If you missed President Obama's speech, here is the transcript and video below.

And, finally, the beauty of the Neighborhood Ball--Beyonce singing "At Last" as the President and First Lady dance.


To see really awesome photos from the inauguration by other D.C. photo bloggers, visit JuxtaExposed and The 42.

Video source: The Washington Post

Photo copyright: D.C. Confidential, 01/09


Sally said...

It was a huge day indeed. One Sydney-sider celebrates Barack Obama’s inauguration by tinkling the ivories

Lynette said...

I am so glad that you were there and got these photos to share.

The Artful Eye said...

Glad you made it and enjoyed this jubilant day. What a great speech!

It was tough being at work, most networks didn't have the bandwith for the onslaught of viewers. Caught snippets here and there.

Watched it all when I got home.

Wonderful, invigorating.

Kate said...

Great post. Thanks for sharing. Lucky you to be in the middle of it!

Lois said...

A truly great moment for the United States of America and the world! Thanks for the pictures!

Virginia said...

Good for you for making the effort. I love the shot of the little boy so bundled he couldn't bend his arms! Great shots and glad you garnered two more strangers! You could have wrapped up the whole 100 you know.

Bob Crowe said...

So you went! Good for you. The phones in our busy office went silent for an hour. Everyone gathered in a conference room to watch the proceedings on TV. We all feel better about being Americans.

You will remember this day for the rest of your life.

D.C. Confidential said...

Sally: Indeed it was.

Lynette: I am, too.

Andrea: It was a wonderful speech! Glad you got to see it.

Kate: Thanks! And you're welcome. I'm glad I got to see it, too.

Lois: Yes, it is. And you're welcome.

VJ: Isn't he just cute? We all liked him. I don't think he understood the gravity of the moment and what it represented, but his parents sure did. And so did the rest of us.

Bob: Yeah, I figured if I didn't, living only four miles from the epicenter of history, I'd regret it the rest of my life. As it is, I now have a memory I'll cherish forever.

Cele said...

Wow, it makes me tear up all over again. Thank you for letting me witness the wonderful sidelines of this great moment through your eyes.

marley said...

Glad you were there to report back to us first hand. Your photos capture the feeling perfectly. Thanks for the links too and the video :)

slim said...

Wonderful photos that capture the crowd and the camaraderie nicely.

I saw pictures this morning taken by my co-worker who was at the mall and I was surprised that she wasn't crammed in shoulder to shoulder. She was pretty far back on the mall, but could still see the Michelle Obama's bright colored dress. She was able to share her pictures and experience with her 4th grade class this morning which was pretty special.

Lara said...

was it every time such a huge show? or is it just now? I really hope things will be ok with this new president...

D.C. Confidential said...

Cele: You're welcome! Wish you could have been here.

Marley: You would have loved this event in person. I sent up a cheer for you and all of the other bloggers who have been waiting for this day.

Slim: Those of us south of the World War II Memorial and around the Lincoln Memorial were the least densely packed. But we were still in good numbers. The Washington Post is reporting that 1.8 million people crowded onto the Mall and a satellite image taken 45 minutes before the inaugural events officially started shows a sea of humanity.

Lara: Past inaugurals have been rather large just as a matter of tradition and celebration, but this is probably the largest in history. As for Mr. Obama and his Administration, we hope the same thing, too.

Babooshka said...

I envy you all that you have photographed the last few historical days. Real journalist photography.

Maya said...

How lucky you were to actually be there!

D.C. Confidential said...

Babooshka: Thanks! It's been pretty exciting.

Maya: Wish you'd been here.