Young Democrats Attend President Obama’s Inauguration


Jacob Chernok

The Young Democrats club at Staples attended President Obama's second inauguration.

Jacob Chernok, Staff Writer

The Staples Young Democrats Club gathered in the park and ride off I-95 exit 18 at 12:30 A.M. on Jan. 21, Inauguration Day. We eagerly awaited the bus chartered by the Connecticut State Committee that would take us down to Washington D.C. It arrived, and at 1 A.M., we began our journey.

Around 6 A.M. Monday morning, we pulled in to the train station in White Flint, MD and prepared to take the Metro into the city. Tired but excited, the seven Young Democrats that made the trip boarded the train that would deliver us into the middle of the Presidential Inauguration.

After getting off the train in D.C., we were amazed at how busy the city was despite the earl hour. The t-shirt vendors selling official inauguration merchandise were already all over the place, and there was a certain buzz in the air.

We were prepared for the enormous security presence, but were still overwhelmed by the massive crowd lining up to get onto the mall. Under four big white tents, TSA employees sent the attendees through metal detectors and pat-down checks.

When we got through security, we made a sharp left turn from behind a building and for the first time saw the Capitol. It was a stunning image, even from far away. Between the flags hanging on the side of the building and the music blasting through the speakers, it was truly a sight to behold.

We walked onto the mall, and after about an hour the ceremony began. Standing with 800,000 of our closest friends, we watched with chills running down our back as Chief Justice John Roberts recited the famous Oath of Office and swore in Barack Obama for his second term as President of the United States.

It was a moment unlike any other. The roar of the crowd was deafening, so loud we could barely hear “Hail to the Chief” playing in the background.

The President then addressed the crowd and millions more around the world, starting off by talking about the pomp and circumstance of the event, and its place in American history. The inauguration was also on Martin Luther King Day, so he made sure to bring up King’s important role in society and how essential he was to African-American civil rights.

After the ceremony, we decided to walk around the city, and fully experience the magnitude of the event. Unfortunately, we didn’t have tickets for the parade, so we watched from a nearby restaurant.

Late that afternoon we made our way back to the metro to get back on the bus and come back to Westport.

When I reflect on that day, I think of a once in a lifetime experience that was just remarkable. Every American should attend an inauguration once in their lifetime, and be given the chance to experience it. That day, more than pretty much any other, made me proud to be an American.