Nearly 800,000 people gathered for the 57th Inauguration of the President of the United States.
On Jan. 21, the anticipation of 44th President Barack Obama escalated as Washington, D.C. swelled with supporters.
Floods of people crowded metro stations as early as 4 a.m., and by 7 a.m. most of the National Mall was occupied by thrilled constituents. People quickly formed huddles under blankets to endure the frigid weather of 30 degree temperatures.
Around 9:30 a.m. the United States Marine Band played patriotic songs while members of the United States Congress, Supreme Court Justices, Vice President Joe Biden, First Lady Michelle Obama and their families were introduced on the foyer of the Capitol Building.
Large monitors throughout the National Mall displayed live footage of each person introduced. The volume of celebratory cheers amplified as the President’s entrance neared.
“Ladies and gentlemen,” said the announcer. “The forty-fourth president of the United States, Barack H. Obama.”
D. C. visitors and locals roared with applause and jumped in excitement. They began to chant President Obama’s name as he waved to the crowd.
Senior Public Administration major Brandy Roberts and senior Political Science major Gus Trujillo, WTAMU students interning for Texas Representative Mac Thornberry, were among the hundreds of thousands in attendance.
“It was awesome to think that I was one out of a million that watched the inauguration live,” Roberts said. “I felt that history was unfolding before me.”
Cannons were fired solidifying the Oaths of Office administered to Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama.
“You could hear cannons firing into the air for the world to hear,” said Trujillo. “I would have never thought that I would be [there] with so many proud Americans supporting our nation’s President.”
Cheering dwindled and the cannon echoes silenced as President Obama approached the podium for his 2013 Inaugural Address.
“Each time we gather to inaugurate a President we bear witness to the enduring strength of our Constitution,” Obama said. “We affirm the promise of our democracy.”
For the duration of fifteen minutes, President Obama illustrated his avowed faith in America’s future. He mentioned equality and the challenging path of the country’s course.
“Let us answer the call of history and carry into an uncertain future that precious light of freedom,” Obama said. “God bless you, and may He forever bless these United States of America.”
The assembly burst into applause as he concluded his speech. Concluding the ceremony, musical artist Beyoncé Knowles sang the National Anthem.
“President Obama’s inauguration was a truly remarkable experience,” Trujillo said. “It was a phenomenal [day] that displayed the power of our great democracy.”