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[Photo Essay] Inauguration Day
A first-person account of day the 44th US president was sworn in
Joan Dawson (joanied40)     Print Article 
Published 2009-01-21 12:05 (KST)   
People came to DC today to be a part of history and they were not disappointed -- even if they didn't get to see the president, many were happy to take in the festive atmosphere and to be a part of the collective whole.

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For my part, I was extremely fortunate. I left home early -- at 8 a.m. -- and had an easy commute. In fact, it was easier than it would have been if it were a normal work day! I took the bus, which had a shortened route today. I walked the rest of the way. While it was freezing cold outside, the mood more than made up for it.

Everyone was excited as we walked streets blocked off by Metro buses in order to stop traffic. It was surreal to walk down DC streets without the usual glut of cars.

I had been invited to an office on Pennsylvania Avenue, where I used to do temp work. Thus, I was lucky to be in a warm building with the vantage point of the third floor. About 25 of us watched the swearing in ceremony on a wide screen TV in the conference room. We cheered and hugged each other when it was over.

We anxiously waited for the parade to start, each of us marking our territory by a window. The parade was delayed, so I went back to the conference room to listen to the news. Senator Ted Kennedy had collapsed and had a seizure. He was taken to the hospital by ambulance. It was quite upsetting to see some of the other senators choked up about his condition.

The Obamas walking down the street.
©2009 Joan Dawson
The Obamas getting back into the limo.
©2009 Joan Dawson
The parade finally started. We anxiously awaited the presidential limo. We were awarded for our long wait. Barrack and Michelle had gotten out of the limo and walked down Pennsylvania Avenue, in front of our office building! The staff went crazy! They grabbed their cameras and pointed them at the windows. (My pictures are a little hazy as a result!)

Nonetheless, we saw the Obamas waving fanatically as the crowd cheered wildly. It was one of the best moments of the day. As they stepped back into the safety and warmth of the limo in the next block, we realized how lucky we were to catch a glimpse of them.

I was very fortunate today for many reasons -- I was part of a historical moment, I had the luxury of being in a warm building with great people and I got a glimpse of our president.

A president that offers leadership, change and, most importantly, hope.

The Bidens walking down the street.
©2009 Joan Dawson

Security was tough today; many people didn't get pass it.
©2009 Joan Dawson

Bands from around the country performed in the parade.
©2009 Joan Dawson

An old Metro bus is part of the parade.
©2009 Joan Dawson

We watched the swearing in ceremony on TV.
©2009 Joan Dawson

Vendors must have made a killing today!
©2009 Joan Dawson

Newspapers sold well today, too!
©2009 Joan Dawson

Everyone wanted a souvenir from today's historic event - vendors were everywhere.
©2009 Joan Dawson
©2009 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Joan Dawson

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