Wednesday, February 4, 2009
Tales from the Inaugural Punchbowl: Lauren Simpson
The campaign, election, and subsequent inauguration of Barack Obama moved many of us to tears. I watched the 44th President take oath on a 12 inch television screen mounted on the wall of my hotel room in Barcelona. Hearing the stories from friends who were at the historic event made me feel as though I was there. I have asked three friends if I could repost their stories here. This is the first in a 3-part installment called Tales from the Inaugural Punchbowl.
Lauren Simpson is a freshman at American University in Washington DC, former student of mine, and volunteer for Rise Up. This was taken from my facebook inbox- her response to my question.."did you go to the inauguration?"
Lauren on the right rocking the Shepard Fairey "yes we did" tee
Inauguration was probably the coolest experience of my life!!! it all started saturday when people invaded the city... which wasn't as bad as i expected it just meant spending a little more time on the escalators haha Sunday was the Inauguration Kick Off Concert: We Are One, at the Lincoln Memorial. One of my roommates got down there really early so I met her down there at around 9 and we ended up being really close to the monument. There was a ticked section on the reflecting pool and we were right behind that. So I had a pretty good view of Usher, Shakira, Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen, U2, Herbie Hancock, will.iam., Sheryl Crow, Mary J Blige, Pete Seeger, James Taylor, Josh Groban, John Legend, Beyonce, Tiger Woods, Queen Litifia, Denzel Washington, Jack Black, Steve Carell, Jamie Foxx plus of course the Obama family and the Bidens!!!!!!! Basically the best experience sooo much energy and excitement in the crowd, and amazing performances and speeches by everyone!
The actual Inauguration was amazing as well, although i think the crowd was a little less enthused due to the amount of tim we had all been there waiting. I caught the metro at 5, wandered around downtown "lost" looking for a line to get in for about 2 hours, because everything was blocked off. Then we finally joined a mob of about 2,000 people waiting to get through a security checkpoint, got through that at about 9 and ended up on the parade route where after much confusion and questioning, we made our way across the street to the mall. I watched the ceremony at about the third jumbo-tron. I was right across from the Smithsonian institute (before the washington monument by about 4 blocks). The post estimated that there were about 1.8 million people there. The mall is 6 miles long from the capital to Lincoln and people were backed up all the way to him. It was so amazing to be a part of history!!!!! I throughly enjoyed his speech, and caught the whole swearing in on video! Getting out of there was a mess (once again due to the parade) but we ended up walking 7 miles in a round about way to get to the Dupont metro stop and catch a train back to school. Overall i would say the best experience of my life so far, too amazing to even articulate how it felt to be there.
Sooooo a really long winded way of telling you that heck yes i went! haha
I would love to hear your inauguration story- post a link, or share in the comments section.