Monday, January 19, 2009

2,000,000 people and 5,000 portapotties. This could get ugly.(Aaron McKinney)

So I was sitting in my hotel room watching the free concert that was being held on the mall Sunday afternoon. I had no desire to battle the masses for a small standing spot to watch music stars sing but then it hit me that I would never have the chance to do this again. Quickly I showered, got dressed, and hit the METRO to go to the mall. I am so glad I did.
Sure enough there were a boatload of people on the mall, but everyone was happy. Smiles and clapping abounded as people snapped photos and sang songs. I was by myself for this little expedition so I decided that I would try to weasel my way as close as I could to the steps of the Lincoln memorial. After twenty minutes of walking and weaving I found myself next to the far end of the reflecting pools. It was about this time that Barack Obama finished his speech and then the song "This land is your land" was played on stage. Sure enough the song quickly spread through the audience and all of the 800,000 people started to sing along. It was amazing. People waving American flags, wearing American hats, and buttons sang the words to such a simple, yet meaningful song. The latin phrase, "E pluribis Unum" came to mind as I stood in the middle of this immense crowd. Out of many, come one, is what that latin phrase means, and this week it has been applied only to government. This was different though, because out of many, came one voice. One voice that sang above all the generators, the helicopter, and the sirens. All you could hear was the voices of 800,000 singing as one. I have never been more proud to be an American. 
Shortly there after, the crowd began to disperse and 800,000 people took to the streets. Traffic stopped, the METRO was in gridlock and the city seemed paralyzed as the crowd left. If this is any indication to how tomorrow will be, then wow. I had to walk about 11 blocks to get to Union station and catch the METRO to go meet up with my buddy Tyler Streit. We met up at Rhino's to watch the Eagle's game and unfortunately they lost. We had a good time though terrorizing the streets of Georgetown and after a long night I took a cab back to the hotel. As the inauguration quickly approaches I am anxious and hopeful. I hope that this turns out to be all I have expected and that Barack Obama's words will inspire a nation to continue working after all the hoopla is done.

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