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We'll bring you first-hand accounts of local Seattle-area residents and their journey to D.C. and generally all things inauguration. If you're going to the inauguration and would like to contribute, contact us here.

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January 20, 2009 2:01 PM

Overview: the good, bad, ugly and popular

Posted by seattletimes.com staff

Submitted by Debra J. Markert


Last night my partner's father suggested that we stay at home on the couch and enjoy the swearing-in from the warm comforts of our pajamas. As tempting as it sounded, we knew we couldn't, so we woke up at 4:30am, left the condo by 5am and were on the lawn by 6am. We'd remain there, in the freezing cold, until after the ceremony.

markert_bundled

A short overview of the day:

The good: We have a new president who gave an amazing speech! The jumbotrons were functional and the speakers were loud and clear, and police were visible and helpful with directions if approached.

The bad: Pedestrian bottlenecking, pedestrian street closures, and Metro station closures. It took us 2.5 hours to wind our way to a functional Metro stop!

The ugly: Desperate times called for desperate measures. As the hours went on people became more and more creative trying to keep warm.

The popular: The crowd responded the loudest to Ted Kennedy, the Clintons, Oprah, and (of course) Obama.

The comparison: I said I was looking forward to hearing both Bishop Robinson and Reverend Warren speak, and I have to say I enjoyed both. I think that Robinson had the potential to appeal to a wider audience since his prayer was more inclusive and neutral, but Warren's message was very inspiring.

The unexpected: I found $20 on the Metro platform.

I'm still frozen and I'm still saddened by some of the bottlenecks-gone-wrong, but overall, I'd jump back out there and do it all over again. What a great experience; areas in the crowd turned into close-knit groups where we all shared stories, food and warmth. For six hours we were a part of history, and a part of a micro-community.

Next up -- the Human Rights Campaign's "Out for Equality" Ball, which starts at 7pm. Congratulations, America and congratulations, President Obama!
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