I set my alarm this morning for 7:00AM planning to get up and get out to collect my tickets to the inauguration. A foreign bed and sick kids conspired against me and left me groggy when the alarm went off. For some reason I figured that there probably wasn’t going to be that big of a crowd when I managed to get down to the congressional office buildings, so I went back to sleep.
Standing in the subway at 10:00AM, I fully realized how wrong I was. In the dimly lit D.C. Metro, you realize the precariousness of your situation when there are thousands of others packed into a small space waiting to get out. I eyed possible escape routes (jump off the railing? parkor up the walls?) while I held any traces of claustrophobia back. Eventually I emerged from the Capitol South station into the bitter cold air of a Washington January day.
The lines snaked around the respective congressional office buildings to get through security. Due to security or scalping, there was a decision somewhere that ordered the majority of 250,000 tickets to be distributed on one day. Although I have never waited in longer lines, what was odd about the spectrum of people standing with me is that everyone had a big grin on their face. Nary an angry or impatient comment was heard. I had been waiting the past eight years for this moment, another 24 hours wasn’t going to hurt. What I realize now is that others had been waiting decades, if not the entire history of the United States for the affirmation of equality and freedom that will occur tomorrow. I am fortunate to be present.
Congratulations on being able to be present for those events. They truly are a historic moment that a surprisingly large part of the country seems to be optimistic about. People are absolutely ready for change and that was reflected in the extraordinarily large turnout for the inauguration. It was amazing to watch on television and I look forward to your comments on actually being there.