Inauguration of President Barack Obama
Story by Ryan Magruder '10, Staff Writer
Photos by Mylah Howard '10, Staff Writer and Marli Washington '10, Staff Photographer
Left: Barack Obama takes the presidential oath as he is sworn in as 44th President of the United States. Crowds who attended viewed the ceremony on big screens. Photo by Mylah Howard '10, Staff Writer
Positive energy flowed all throughout the city as Barack Obama was inaugurated in front of the Capitol on Jan. 20, 2009. The moment was truly historic as it marked a major milestone in American civil rights. From all over the country masses of people braved the cold trying to take in the moment. At home, millions more tuned into live broadcasts watching as the events took place. Regardless of political views, the day was of great importance to the country, and marked the start of change in America.
This excitement shown in the District is reflected here at Bishop McNamara. Large percentages of students and faculty welcomed this new beginning displaying buttons and clothing. Because many also live near Washington D.C., some were fortunate enough to be able to join in the celebration. One of these was teacher Shawn Dougherty. He described the scene around him as a "potpourri of people," ranging in age and the size of their group. He said he was surprised at how many individuals he saw from all over the country.
Another aspect that surprised him was the fact that the security personal in the area were friendly. They understood they didn't need to assert themselves, but that their presence alone was enough. He claimed people understood the security's role in the day and let them be. This simple occurrence helped to create and maintain the positive atmosphere, as well as give everyone a more secure feeling.
Soleil Grant '10 had a similar experience. She explained she enjoyed talking with people because everyone was there for the same cause. After several conversations, she discovered that many people were from out of state. "The day felt patriotic," Soleil exclaimed. "It was a once in a lifetime experience." Because of the crowd, Soleil was forced to watch the events unfold on a Jumbotron nearby the Washington Monument. However, the day did not lose its magic even despite this hindrance.
In addition to those who attended, faculty member Jim Monahan is a member of the marching group, "The Lawn Rangers." They dressed in amusing costumes as they drove lawn mowers and tossed around brooms. Mr. Monahan said the group of fifty people marched for forty minutes, a distance of about one and a half miles, down Pennsylvania avenue and in front of the presidential viewing stand. Among the members was Dave Barry, a popular humor columnist who has worked for a wide variety of papers and magazines. The Lawn Rangers have marched at several other major events including the Saint Patrick's Day Parade in Chicago.
However glorious the day may be perceived, it was not without its drawbacks, namely the cold. Temperatures plummeted the week of the inauguration, chilling every street corner. Add to this a penetrating wind chill factor, and it makes for a seemingly unpleasant day. Yet the weather did not seem to limit the success of the event. Masses of viewers dug in and embraced the elements and were rewarded with a truly monumental occurrence.
Despite many understandable concerns regarding the traffic, making the trip was not insufferable. Soleil explained she was able to drive into the city and walked from F Street. Mr. Dougherty took the subway and arrived with no problems. However, exiting created more problems. Because of the sheer amount of people gathered in the area, several delays resulted. But these minor problems were handled well making the return trip possible.
This Inauguration is a historic one. It will be remembered for decades to come. Stories of the day will be told to future generations. But now as the day has passed, the president and the public look towards the future. Already, Barack Obama has enacted several initiatives and plans to make many more. The country is sure to go through a process of change over the next four years and this will be sure to test the new president on several levels. However, Barack Obama has shown himself to be capable of facing these challenges, and with the help of the public, plans to overcome.
See also the response authored by student Lauren Bell '10, as part of her work for the elective class United States and the World.
By Bishop McNamara HS |
January 30, 2009; 10:28 PM ET
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