I do not care what your political stance is.
I really don't.
There was a time when I did. But it isn't now.
That being said, today was a pretty cool day.
One of the perks of living in Arlington VA is that important political events happen right across the river. Literally... right across the river... I can see the Washington Memorial from the top of my driveway.
This morning I woke up early and got on a nearly empty bus, boarded a very packed subway train that took me to DC. When I stepped off the escalator from the underground there were throngs of people all bleary eyed clutching at their morning cups of coffee.
Tables set up with T-shirt hawkers, buttons, calendars, earrings, cheap scarves, twisty pretzels....
As I entered the National Mall the crowds were greeted by dozens upon dozens of volunteers in red, grinning and waving, high-fiving, shaking hands, each one wishing the onslaught of bodies "GOOD MORNING!! Thank you so much for coming! We are happy to see you! Good Morning!"
It made me grin from ear to ear at how hernest they were and how they really did seem happy to be there.
That was the general mood I think... happy to be there.
I stood near a nice family whose 14 year old son kept exclaiming "I am SO excited!!"
When political figures came out people informed others of who they were. No judgements were made, just public information to go along with the face. We were in this together.
When speeches were given people were silent... blowing up into applause at just the right moments.
People were listening. People were feeling. They were gracious and respectful. It was even a bit reserved.
When Mrs. Mevers spoke there was a hush in the crowd. By the end of her invocation people were visibly moved by her words, her message, and her delivery. There were people around me that had been at the Million Man March in the 90s, there were people that had marched on Washington in the '63. It was beautiful to be near them today.
I never expected that nearly one million people could behave so well together. I felt safe, humbled, and happy to be witnessing a part of history. Now I can definitely say-
I was there.
The following pictures may not look like much, I was in the second group back, very close to the Capitol in comparison to many. The jumbo tron was our visual for the whole event.
In front of me...
Bill and Hillary
Beyonce (teeerrible photo. Jay-Z was there too!)
Joe Biden getting sworn in
Obama swearing in
The crowd erupting in flag waving
Martin Luther King Jr Memorial, on the walk home
Statue on the bridge back to Arlington
"Being true to our founding documents does not require us to agree on every contour of life; it does not mean we will all define liberty in exactly the same way, or follow the same precise path to happiness...Progress does not compel us to settle centuries-long debates about the role of government for all time -- but it does require us to act in our time."- Barack H. Obama