by Trish Nelson
Today was a truly amazing day. The crowds were unbelievably huge, but well behaved and everyone was happy. The sense of joy and celebration carried the day even through long lines, cold temperatures, and standing for hours. Despite hardships, people were without exception gracious, patient, and cordial.
The crowd waved good-bye and cheered as Bush’s helicopter flew overhead, and sang na-na, hey-hey, good-bye. Our silver-ticket co-travellers barely made it through security. They were thrilled with their spots, even though they were so far away they really could not see anything on the stage.
The other three of us with blue tickets ended up watching from the Hubert Humphrey Building. It was hard to hear through the loud speakers and we heard that the jumbotrons were slightly behind the live sound, so a band of twenty or so huddled around a radio and listened to Obama’s speech.
Time ran out on the Blue gate “line” (really a crowd rumored to be an actual line)… and we did not make it through the Security screening in time for the start of the program, but we were still happy. We were there. We stood with our fellow Americans and witnessed the end of the Bush years and the beginning of this new day for America.
After the swearing-in we headed for the Dirksen Senate Office Bldg. for the Iowa gathering where we commisserated with other purple and orange ticket-holders who did not make it in. We were told Jesse Jackson didn’t make it in either, and a host of others (we had actually seen Jesse Jackson earlier as he passed through our “line” (crowd) on the way to his “line” (crowd).
At the Iowa event, Senators Harkin and Grassley made an appearance with Congressmen Braley, Boswell and Loebsack. They all said a few words. Some technical problems uploading photos, but we’ll have some later of the Iowa delegation.
When we got to the Iowa event, we talked to some Iowa Citians with purple tickets who said they waited in the tunnel for over three hours, but didn’t make it in.
Here is our view. So thrilled to be present for this extraordinary moment in our nation’s history.