What It Was Like To Be At The Inauguration This Morning

inauguration 2013

Photo: Vivian Giang / Business Insider

On Monday morning, the crowd around Capitol Hill assembled to celebrate President Obama’s second term. Along every street of the Capitol Hill neighbourhood, memorabilia, signs, miniature flags and hand warmers could be purchased.

With temperatures in the low 30’s and a steady breeze, people still lined up as far back as the National Mall and around the reflecting pool. 

The spectacle was not as impressive, however, as it was when Obama first took office four years ago.

An Obama supporter waiting in line near us said that during the last inauguration people were lining up at the Capitol gates as early as 3 a.m. But she said that the crowds at both inaugurations were “the nicest I’ve ever experienced people to be.”

While waiting to get through security, a lady from Massachusetts who was standing behind us told us to get in between her and her friend so that their body temperatures could protect us from the cold. 

Here’s the rest of our experience at the Inauguration this morning.

Around 8:35 a.m., we started our 20 minute walk to the Capitol.

The crowd thickened quickly.

Throughout our walk, there were Obama collectibles sold around the Hill.

And every trash can we passed overflowed with garbage.

T-shirts, beads, posters with Obama's face could be purchased for $10 to $20.

In the low 30's, these women were appropriately bundled up for the weather.

Around 9 a.m., we arrived at our gate to find a crowd had already formed ahead.

And within 20 minutes, we could no longer see the streets behind us.

Despite waiting in the cold, the crowd was pretty calm and bundled together to protect against winds.

At 11:06 a.m., the gates opened and people ran toward the security checkpoints.

We spent another 20 minutes waiting to get through security.

Finally in!

This man is using sign language to communicate with a young boy as Vice President Joe Biden is sworn in.

The crowd listened intently as Obama discussed gay rights, voting rights, immigration reform and gun control.

And the ladies behind us cheered on when Obama talked about climate change.

Beyonce sings the national anthem after performances by James Taylor and Kelly Clarkson.

After the inauguration, Obama, Biden and their families head to a luncheon at the Capitol and the crowd slowly heads toward exit signs.

As we head out of Capitol Hill, we passed many tanks, national guards, unmarked cars and this K-9 unit with a fan in the back installed.

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