Submitted Photos ~ Ted Jaditz
This photo shows the crowd density during the inauguration near the base of the Washington Monument.
Beth, Cullen and Ted were gone about six hours and only sat down on the bus ride down and back, and it was cold; my neighbors and I watched every minute on TV and ate and drank our way through a "just bring something" smorgasbord in a warm house. Ted has a picture (which I am sending) that indicates the crowd density on the capital mall. At one point he estimated that if he held out his arm at full length, and turned in a circle, he would touch 14 individuals.
He and Beth and Cullen were lucky; they were in the last batch of folks allowed to enter the mall area and worked their way towards the Washington Monument, as crushing injuries were feared if the crowd was bigger. I clearly had fewer people than that in my house with no concern about space.
Beth, Cullen and Ted were surrounded by complete strangers, as many as two million by some estimates from all over the country and all walks of life. My crowd knew each other well, and was much smaller but still diverse. One neighbor, a republican who is passionate about urban renewal, put her Obama sign in her yard about the same time I did and brought a cheese plate.
Another neighbor, originally from Ethiopia but a U.S. citizen, arrived with traditional vegetable dishes and provided incredible insight on the view of Obama outside the U.S. She works on engineering related to national security. A doctor across the street brought apple pie (better than mine). He specializes in child psychology and commented on the younger view A couple who work in government and consulting brought petit fours, and the husband played 'Happy Days Are Here Again' on my piano. I added various appetizers and munchies, vegetarian chili, and watched in amazement as the crowd on the mall cheered and celebrated.
It was a hodge-podge regardless of where you were: on the mall or in a house in Bethesda, but everyone was excited. I hope the wonderful folks in Lawrence County had the same experience. Here's wishing our new president and his administration every success.
Note: Beth's older son James participated in the inaugural festivities with a field trip with his history class group from school, while husband Paul worked in NYC.
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