I woke up at 5:30am and started walking toward the Mall. As I moved toward the Washington Monument, over a mile from the Capitol, thousands of people began to gather for the swearing-in ceremony held over five hours later.
I will never forget the image of the sun rising over the Monument as people pilgrimaged to the Capitol (or as far as they could make it). I use the word “pilgrimage” deliberately because President Obama is more than a political figure; he represents a movement toward a more self-reliant, caring society. People from all over the world are desperate for change, and many see Obama as the way to achieve noticeable and sustainable change.
I was not close enough to view the ceremony firsthand, but I was closer than half of the other people in attendance. I cannot describe the massive crowd that gathered on the Mall. There were people at every angle; it was never-ending. I did not see anyone become frustrated or angry with the long lines and thick crowd; everyone was just happy to be there. I certainly was!