Alumna Blog: One in Two Million at the Inauguration
Tuesday, January 20th - The Swearing In
by Monisha Smith '04
It was dark outside as we all set off to Courthouse Metro station. As we arrived on the Metro platform, we were excited to see a train there and waiting. On second glance, the train was OVERFLOWING with people and didn't appear to be moving anytime soon.
Over the loud speaker we heard "Train delayed, due to sick passenger." We would hear that same announcement a lot over the next hour. We began to suspect that there wasn't really a sick passenger, but rather that this was simply code for something else. Finally, we were able to board the train and off to Federal Center Metro station we went.
Federal Center was the location for the silver gate, where my parents, cousin, and two friends needed to enter with their swearing in tickets. Unlike many others, my family and friends were indeed able to enter through the silver gate and had a great time at the swearing in. This is where my adventure began, we were now a group of four and we needed to loop around from the House side to the Senate side to enter into the purple gate. Having been in D.C. for about a year and half, I knew exactly how to navigate myself to the other side. The crowds were HUGE, but bearable, until we entered through the purple gate.
There seemed to be a rush of people, some with tickets, most without, and none of whom knew where they were going. My friends and I found ourselves stuck in a bush crushed against the side of the Jones Day Law Firm Building, barely able to breath. We made a quick decision and decided to depart from the purple line and head to a bar to watch the swearing in. It was now about 9.30 a.m. Thirty minutes later we find ourselves warm, with front row seats in front of a huge flat screen TV, awaiting the swearing in of the 44th President of the United States of America. We all decided since we had ball tickets for that night, it was worth not being in the crowd for the swearing in.
After taking pictures of ourselves with our unused tickets, we settled in with breakfast and coffee. The restaurant cheered for Vice President Biden, and tears were shed for what had to be one of the greatest speeches President Obama has delivered to date. Like my parents, who lived through M.L.K.'s "I have a dream," I can say I have my own piece of history that I was a part of.