Day 3: It began with a 4 a.m. wake up call from a rampant knock on the door and blaring phone call in the hotel room. My friends and I got our tired, yet excited selves put together for the big day: America’s 44th Presidential Inauguration.
We drove from our Maryland hotel to D.C., and the traffic was surprisingly not bad! At around 5:30 a.m., we made our way across the city by foot to find a line of about 200 other enthusiasts ready to be checked by security. After waiting for two+ hours and watching the sun rise on a new day in America, security opened and I was checked along with every other person entering the proximity of the event.
It was drizzling, and as any other awkward school group would, we stood in the mud and danced the Cupid Shuffle while NBC recorded our enthusiasm as part of the live coverage surrounding the day’s ceremony. When I finally stepped onto the long stretch of platforms lining the mall towards the capitol building, I raced with excitement to the closest spot open to the public. That is, without paying for VIP passes.
I met a lot of interesting people while standing on the wet, mud-stained platforms for 4 hours. As we watched clips of Donald Trump and Barack Obama’s descent from the White House to the Capitol Building along with traditional naval flights coming in and out of the area, It was eye opening to see the wide array of viewers at the event. While most claimed strong support for Trump with their bright, red “Make America Great Again” hats and flags, they all came from visibly different backgrounds of life.
From rednecks with long beards and “Trump’s America” capes to businessmen to young families and the elderly, I noticed that Trump truly held support from the common man. Although I was one of three that openly showed positive recognition of Trump from my travel group, it was encouraging to be surrounded by a community of like-minded Americans that sought approval of the incoming president, as opposed to the insults and blind sighted attacks frequently made by many back home.
As the ceremony began and a series of traditional events took place, I realized that I was not there just to support President Trump and his conservative values. I was there to support America. Franklin Graham’s insightful prayer over the country was an empowering reminder of the work God has set out for each of us, and more specifically, work to turn this country around. To make America a better place and a continuous landmark for freedom, hope, and equality.
Graham’s prayer was the last thing I noted before I was engulfed by a crowd of thousands and skirted around damaging protests in streets nearby. Directly after the Inauguration, I spent a few hours in the Holocaust Museum, a long awaited part of my trip’s itinerary! I may be characterized as a history buff, but no matter what background you come from, this museum is bound to impact your intellectual thought towards people and the sin that is ever-so present in this world.
Note: If you are mesmerized by history, museums, and culture in general, D.C. is the place to dive into that fascination!
Due to violent protesting occurring just a block or so from where we were in the Holocaust museum, we decided to skip out on the Inauguration parade that afternoon. We instead went to Georgetown, aka my future apartment residency. Let’s just say I have a thing for Georgetown University. And no, I won’t be attending there in the fall [I’m not rich or a minority in any way].
While in one of the most traditional downtown areas of D.C., I enjoyed dinner at an Italian restaurant and strolled around the neighborhood. I dreamed away at my college life and hopes of being able to enjoy the used book stores and coffee shops of Georgetown while walking around the cobblestone streets of this magical place. The pictures below reveal my attempts at highlighting my favorite parts of Georgetown.
A special shoutout to Georgetown Cupcakes for making my Inauguration night so deliciously special!
After a long night of adventures to a haunted house, Georgetown Cupcakes, and sprints along the riverside, we traveled the short distance back to MD and crashed into out hotel bedrooms. We then made our journey back home the next morning, waving goodbye to D.C. and Obama, and welcoming Trump to the hardest job in America: Presidency.
“We’re not enemies, we are brothers and sisters. We’re not adversaries, but we’re allies. We’re not foes, but we’re friends. Let us be healed by the power of Your love and united by the bond of Your Spirit,” – Bishop Jackson