On January 20th, 2017, President Obama left the District as his successor, President Donald Trump, took office at noon. It was a welcomed sight by many on the capitol grounds, with the attendees booing Secretary Hillary Clinton and other high ranking Democrats, such as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. “Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye” by Steam was sung during Chuck Schumer’s speech introducing Justice Clarence Thomas. The past presidents were applauded as they entered the stage, even President Clinton.
The previous night of January 19th, a welcome concert occurred at the Lincoln Memorial where Jon Voight introduced President-Elect Trump. The lineup consisted mostly of country artists, with Toby Keith being the main star. The entire Trump family was there, except for his youngest child, Barron Trump. The National Park Service along with Secret Service and Capitol Police handled the event because it was located at a national monument. The park service ran into a few hiccups, like running out of hot dogs and hot chocolate an hour and a half prior to the end of the concert. After the President-Elect gave a short speech and the breathtaking fireworks display ended from behind the monument, the crowd dispersed with vendors selling shirts and other memorabilia.
The next day, my family and I drove to the Vienna Metro station where it was full of Trump supporters and news reporters. At every stop until the entrance for the National Mall, the cars kept receiving riders till it felt like we were sardines in a can.
At 11:59 AM, President Trump was sworn in on the Lincoln Bible, which is a continuation of President Obama’s Inaugurations and his Bible from childhood. He is the oldest President at the time of his swearing, at 70 years of age.
His first speech as President blamed the former President, sitting to his right, for a decaying, dark and grimy America. According to Fox and NBC News, the speech included firsts such as the words: bleed, carnage, depletion disrepair, rusted, trapped and tombstones.
On the way back to the metro station, we were packed into the street shoulder to shoulder. I spent a good half hour waiting to even get to the escalators of the station. Once inside, army soldiers directed travelers to their respective trains with Maryland on the left and Virginia on the right. The ride home was not packed, given that most people were staying for the parade that ironically didn’t start till 5 pm, which was four hours from then.
This event marked the beginning of a new era for America which is for the better or worse of this nation. Overall the Inauguration was a joyous occasion with many ways to celebrate.