We began early--up at 6:30. In the metro at 7:15. Got to the turn stile and were told--along with hundreds of others--that the station was closed and we needed to go to one up the street. We did so. Jammed ourselves into the metro car when it came. And that was the beginning of an almost horrifying experience with crowds. Quickly to say that a number of times Casey was sobbing as he was so frightened by the closeness, crowding and dynamics of the crowds. Which is not to say people were poorly behaved. The calmness and consideration of the thousands of people we found ourselves a part of was amazing. People suffered together and were nice. But...it was still overwhelming to an already tired 10 year old. In the end, he is so happy that he was there and by the time President Obama was speaking, he was cheering at the appropriate places and jumping up and down along with everyone.
Our ticket area was far enough away from the platform that we could not see the people. But we could see the stage and where it was all happening. I guess there is no way to adequately describe the emotions of being here and the sense that time is changing. At the last words of Obama's oath, an African-American man from Pennsylvania shared hugs with Casey and me--what a moment.
So many streets are closed that getting into and out of the capitol area comes close to the definition of impossible. For us to return to our hotel, we had to walk away from the mall for several blocks and then finally to highway 395 which was closed to vehicular traffic. We then walked on the highway, through the 3rd Street tunnel and then several more blocks back to our hotel. However, after the morning metro experience returning that way was not even considered.
Now, we are in the hotel room, watching the parade on TV--just as you are doing where ever you are.
These are some photos from today. They aren't very good. My camera was acting strangely--probably from the cold. But you will be there with us. They aren't in proper order--I'm too tired to do that right now.
Walking on the Interstate