Park City locals Jennifer Strachan and Tom Biersbach are in DC for the Inauguration and have been sending us great photos and videotaping some interviews we'll show when we get back.
Here's her report from the field on the big day...
We left the Hotel at 6:30AM hoping to beat the crowd. Don't know what I might have been smoking to think that was possible! We talked to people who got there hours ahead of us. The Obama organizers were sending emails to everyone signed up to receive them. One email told us to enter from the South, we are staying North of the parade route. The Metro was the only means of getting to the other side. What a zoo, but a very polite zoo! A 10 minute journey took us about an hour, but even that was fun. We talked to be from all over the country and the world on the Metro. As we exited, which was the real crush, a worked was yelling over a bull horn, "Keep on moving" to which the crowd responded, "Obama" each time. If you have never seen 1.8 Million people trying to go to the same place it borders on scary. When you see all the people moving in an orderly fashion, saying "Excuse me, can I help you", it puts an entirely different spin on it.
Hours of waiting, spitting snow, freezing crowds and I never hear a person utter an unpleasant word, incredible!
It took us three hours to get to the "Silver Section", where our tickets allowed us to stand on the edge of the reflecting pool in front of the capital. It was a great view, albeit not exactly in the "expensive seats". To pass the time a group was helping people take turns climbing up on a cement dome which put you about four feet off the ground. People would wait their turn, get helped up on the dome, then shoot photos for about 30 seconds and get down.
The jumbotron, which was our close up of the ceremony showed dignitaries, celebrities etc as they moved to their seats. Each time Bush or Cheney came on the screen, 1.8 Million booed, even singing Na, na, na, na....Na, na, na, na, Hey, heeeey, Goodbye. Those receiving cheers included Colin Powell, Jimmy Carter, the Clintons and of course the Obamas. Cheers when Bush left by helicopter and cheers when Obama was sworn in, his speech was inspiring even in the cold. We briefly warmed up in the Senate building before returning to our hotel. The fastest way was just to walk the two miles.
Attendees were forced to choose between the inauguration and the parade, it was logistically impossible for the average person to do both. We watched the parade and specifically the running Utes from the warmth of a hotel room.
Our evening was focused on the Peace Ball, with headliners Joan Baez, Dick Gregory and Harry Belafonte, at the Postal Museum. Big crowds of ball gowns and tuxedos all over town. The streets were often closed, security was tight and it was impossible to move about the city by cab, so we walked and took the Metro when possible.
All in all it was an amazing, incredible day! Thank you for sharing it with us.