The National Mall Becomes a Sea of Humans and Hope

While only ex-presidents, first daughters, and powerful lawmakers got the front-row view of Barack Obama's inauguration today, I watched the events on the jumbotron in the shadow of the Washington Monument. In the minutes leading up to noon, the millions of people gathered, citizens of the country and the world, stood on the freezing lawn anxious to witness history.

There were resounding cheers for Bill and Hillary Clinton, and even more for Sasha and Malia. Around me the bright mood dimmed a bit during Rick Warren introduction and more during George W. Bush's. But soon my neighbors' faces filled with expressions of suspense right before Obama was sworn in, hope during the speech, and relief once the transfer of power was complete.

On the way out, the human gridlock tested everyone's goodwill, but luckily I managed to get out safely, walking on eerily car-free highways and past countless Obamabilia vendors. Now it's time to sit back and enjoy the parade!