By far the largest and most exciting crowd I have ever been in is the huge gathering in Washington, DC for President Barack Obama’s inauguration in January 2009. The excitement and the “I got to be there” feeling was rampant despite the freezing cold weather. People had gathered from all over the world for the occasion and were excited to be there.
The crowd was so large on the Metro system and the National Mall viewing the ceremony that it was almost literally impossible to move. Fortunately, the crowd was respectful and everyone was cordial. No known issues arose.
After the ceremony the strategy was to get to an area where you could simply move in any direction. These images show people who had gotten to a major highway that runs through DC and turned it into a sidewalk and eventually made their way home. In order to leave the highway pedestrians had to climb over large barriers. People assisted each other over them. Late in the evening the highways became highways again.
What a day!
Now, we are within a year of the next Presidential election. Do you think there will ever be another inauguration with the level of excitement and “got to be there” feeling? If and when President Obama is re-elected what do you think the turn out will be? What are your memories of the day and traveling to the inauguration?