Thursday, January 22, 2009

Inauguration Tuesday

I would like to begin by apologizing for taking so long to update, it was total chaos on Tuesday and I couldn’t find a stable wireless signal.

Anyway, Tuesday was insane. We headed down to the metro at around 3am figuring most people wouldn’t be headed out that early…but we were very very wrong. The road towards the Metro station, a .5 mile stretch of road, took over an hour and a half to head down, and this was at an outlining station. The Metro itself was packed to the brim, every car on every train was overcrowded. Everybody became a little more personal to say the least. Our original goal was to transfer trains and head right up to Judiciary Square like the map intended but traffic was so brutal that it became evident that this wasn’t going to work, so out into the cold morning air we went. It was about 6am when we got off the train and began our 13 block walk to 1st street, which was where the Purple Gate line was supposed to be. We finally get to where we are were told to go when we find out that nobody actually knows where the purple gate line is, and further that nothing is being done to alleviate the issue. So, we finally find what is believed to be the line, and after standing there for a while realize that it has not moved at all since we got there. I get out of line and walk down to see if I can see the gate, and see what the issue is and as it turned out, there was just a wall of people intersecting into the ‘purple’ line and that it was just pure Urban congestion. That just wouldn’t suffice for us, we wanted to make sure we got into that Inauguration. So we headed out of the line, walked another 4 or five blocks and finally found the gate we needed and a line going to it which was actually filtering into the event, and I’m glad we did.

The Inauguration itself was wonderful. I know there are many people out in the political community who have noted that Obama’s address was not as memorable in terms of key lines and that it did not live up to the hype of the Kennedy or Roosevelt address, but I stand in the contrary. I believe Obama’s speech was a carefully crafted doctrine to both the domestic and world communities about the new direction of American Policy. Obama’s words echoed through every heart and mind and that is what will make his speech memorable. The idea that peace can be as strong as war is one sadly missed by many in the previous government, and the fact that Diplomacy and Understanding have ,at least, the potential to reemerge at the helm of policy should make every last American and world community member ecstatic.

After the Inauguration, we fled with the rest of the 3.6 million (based on last estimate I heard) people towards the streets in search of food, coffee and of course a rest room. The first stop on this adventure for me was a coffee shop. I never would have fathomed that I would have to stand inline, outside, to order my traditional caramel macchiato. Needless to say, I waited in the cold in a line of people to get inside and order a drink that on any other day would have had me in and out in five minutes. Instead, on this day, it took just about 20 minutes for a coffee….

Nothing to much more to dwell on there, so I will fast forward to Tuesday evening and the “Celebration of Many Nations” Inaugural Ball which was an amazing time. We were served a four course dinner and entertained with Jazz music, and most importantly, made more aware of the Native American population as well as their customs and beliefs which to me was an honor.

We finally headed home at around 10pm, and finally got back at around 430 this Wednesday thus almost ending our trip, except for me. I had to place some phone calls to the media from six to seven which was as it had been all week a lot of fun.

This road to D.C. feels like it has been ripped from a story book and it is clear the fates were aligned perfectly for all of us. It has been the up-most pleasure to be able to share my experiences and opinions with all of you. If it was not for you the reader, my trip would have yielded little meaning in terms of the importance of this trip, at least for me. I understand how wonderful it was to be such a part of history, but the fact that I have been able to share my experiences with all of you through the radio, news networks, and this blog has created an entirely different perspective on this event and as I have said, I am honored that you allowed me to do so.

In closing I would just like to extend my thanks to the entire Wilkes community who has been so understanding of this entire trip, especially President Gilmour who has been so kind and wonderful to all of us. Further, family and friends, all of your phone calls and emails really made me feel wonderful inside, I am so glad to be able to make all of you so proud. I appreciate all of you taking such an interest in this project, I know it can be difficult to keep track of all the television interviews and even the blog posts but all of you kept watching and reading, and that was so wonderful, Thank you..

Finally, I will continue to update this blog, first with the Congressman Kanjorski interview, and some final small things regarding the trip, (including more picture), and then I will continue to write some political opinions which I hope all of you will continue to read and comment on.

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