We spent the day exploring the mall, walking around the endless vendors selling Obama t-shirts, and screaming in the crowd of MSNBC. (We totally got on TV. You can try to find me in the crowd here.) Unfortunately, it was during Chris Matthews, but getting on TV is getting on TV. Also, Chris Matthews looks old in real life.
We rode the Metro a lot on Monday, and the atmosphere was unbelievable. People smiled at you. Gave up their seats. A few guys even offered me a shot of Jack Daniels. People sang on the subway. People talked to each other about themselves, politics, and even race.
Tuesday morning we woke up early and walked to the Mall. We had silver tickets, which were the farthest from the Capitol. We stood in a line (which was more like a mass of people) for about five hours. The security was almost nonexistent. My friend was asked once, about a mile from the mall if she had any guns. Other than that there was no police presence in our section. The mass of people we were in all had tickets, but we weren't being let it. About fifteen minutes before the inauguration started, we began to get panic-y. We squeezed our way through the crowd and jumped over a barrier. We got into the mall grounds without even showing our ticket.
The tears continued for most people through Biden's oath, the beautiful John William's arrangement, and Mr. Obama's oath. An electricity went through the crowd as Barack finished his oath. Yes We Did. I looked around the crowd and found most people meeting my eyes. We smiled at each other, shocked, ecstatic, and proud. We all truly had helped to change this country. And we will continue to.
During my time in Washington I realized that Obama's presidency isn't really about him. He will surely disappoint us. Maybe he already has. However, we won't disappoint each other. We can't afford to. Obama's presidency is about us, citizens of America and the world, and the change we, not our elected leaders, will bring about it. It is symbolic of our willingness to begin working again for our nation, through service and most importantly conversation. Obama has ignited a spark in so many people from so many different backgrounds. It is our job to keep that spark alive, to fan it into a flame, and to morph it into a fire to burn for America. For peace. For hope. For love. For people of all colors. For women. For men. For people of all genders. For people of all sexual orientations. For people of all kinds.